Jobs boom as vehicle conversion giant acquires 26-acre North Lincolnshire site

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 24 Sep 2018

One of the UK’s leading trailer and commercial vehicle body manufacturers has acquired a 26 acre site in North Lincolnshire to create a new flagship base, bringing major job creation.

Cartwright Group currently operates its conversions business from Hatfield, South Yorkshire, but has outgrown the rented location.

Now it aims to create more than 175 new jobs in the next 18 months as it takes on the former Belton Brickworks site, while the existing 72-strong team prepares for the 10 mile move east.

Located between Belton and Epworth, adjoining land has also been bought as part of the undisclosed deal to fulfil the ambition of the company, established in 1952.

Steve Shaw, managing director of Cartwright Conversions Ltd, said: “It is an ideal site for us. We have the place at Hatfield, but we have grown out of it. It has meant we are limited to the amount of work we are able to do. Finding a place so close to the site, in Belton, is cracking.”

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A planning application for the demolition, redevelopment, and extension of the site has been submitted and, subject to planning, Cartwright will commence work on site later this year with the aim of Cartwright Conversions being fully operational in the new facility in spring 2019.

Belton Brickworks. Picture: Google Maps. 

Mr Shaw added: “As well as holding a careers fair in conjunction with the council, Cartwright will also be introducing their multi-award winning apprenticeship scheme, aimed at young people looking to work in manufacturing.”

Part of the Cheshire-based Cartwright Group, with a 38-acre site in Altrincham, it includes Cartwright Rentals, Cartwright Fleet Services and Cartwright Finance, and has increased turnover from £89 million to £150 million over the last four years and is heading for £170 million for 2018/19.

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It employs a workforce of more than 1,000 who design, engineer and build the widest range of high quality trailers and rigid bodied vehicles in the market. Customers include some of the UK’s biggest companies, such as Royal Mail, Argos, Asda, Sainsbury’s and, Tesco and in proudly flying the flag for British manufacturing excellence, the business also has major export customers in Europe, Australia, UAE and South America.

Conversions was launched in 2016, and is described as “going from strength to strength” producing a wide range of specialised vehicles including ambulances, mobility, welfare, police and security vehicles for a range of clients, including the NHS, UK police forces and highways maintenance companies.

Eden Planning is advising Cartwright on the development. Donna Barber, director, said: “The Belton location is perfect, with good access to the motorway, it enables Conversions to stay in the area, easily relocate its skilled employees and provide room for future growth. The site itself is particularly suited to meet their needs, combining industrial buildings with hard standing areas.  The proposals would bring a disused industrial site back into productive use, add a further 150,000 sq ft of production space creating new jobs. 

“Alongside this, additional local jobs and investment will also be created during the construction phase. We look forward to continue to work with the council to ensure that the local community benefits from the new jobs created.”

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Allied industries such as motorhome, caravan and park lodge manufacture thrive around the Humber, with the likes of Wren Kitchens also using similar skill bases. 

Cllr Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Attracting new investment and jobs to North Lincolnshire is a key priority for the council. We actively work with businesses to encourage new start-ups, expansions and relocations. I have met with the company and their plans are impressive.

“This is a major development that will transform a disused industrial site and bring it back to life – creating hundreds of jobs and training opportunities.  

“While the plans are subject to approval, I welcome Cartwright’s expansion proposals to transform the former Belton Brickworks into their new flagship base.”

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