Ripon jobs boost as '¨manufacturer grows

Jobs will be created when gritter and snow-plough manufacturer Econ Engineering expands its contract hire division with a £250,000 investment.

Wednesday, 30th March 2016, 1:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th March 2016, 2:31 pm
True grit: Coun Alan Skidmore, Andrew Lupton of Econ, Alistair Forbes of the LEP, and Colin Trewhitt of Econ.

Ripon-based Econ, which operates one of the country’s largest hire fleets of gritters and snowploughs, and sells hundreds of road-maintenance vehicles every year, is set to boost its hire fleet by a further 100 vehicles. This move will take its total hire fleet to 500 high-tech spreaders, worth more than £50m.

The company, which is also the UK’s largest gritter manufacturer and employs over 200 people in Ripon, has bought a two-acre site adjoining the Econ manufacturing facility from Yorkshire Water for £150,000.

Harrogate Borough Council granted outline planning for a £100,000 extension to Econ’s current production facility and a vehicle storage area with space to park a further 100 hire fleet gritters. Work got underway on site earlier this month and is due for completion in May.

Joint managing director Andrew Lupton said: “The 
option to lease gritters and snowploughs that can be maintained on a fixed-cost basis suits many local authorities’ budgets and it’s an attractive alternative for many councils to owning their winter maintenance stock outright.”