The jobs of 120 staff were saved after a Grantham-based tipping trailer and truck body manufacturer was purchased from administration by specialist truck provider MV Commercial.
The landmark deal for Fruehauf also includes an immediate cash injection and a commitment to a further £30 million investment over the next three years.
This is part of ambitious plans to modernise the manufacturing facility and realise the full potential of the firm’s 67-acre site.
There are also plans to open a truck sales and rental facility on site in Grantham within the next month. Work will begin within days to refurbish much of the site.
Production capacity within the factory should quickly reach 15-20 trailers again per week under MV’s stewardship. There are also plans for the workforce, many of whom have been furloughed in recent months – to return to their jobs swiftly.
MV Commercial, which employs 190 staff across five sites, also hopes to revive the legendary ‘Crane Fruehauf’ name, by which the business was known until around 1998. The rebranding is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.
Tom O’Rourke, CEO of MV Commercial, says: “This is a hugely significant day for both businesses; and quite simply an opportunity we couldn’t turn down. Fruehauf has a fantastic product range, a rich heritage, and a wealth of talent within Grantham which will be complemented by our own strength and experience in the marketplace.
“With immediate effect we are starting work to scale production back up, enabling us to commit to a delivery schedule for outstanding customer orders and begin building new stock trailers for MV’s own contract hire and ready-to-go fleets.”
Steven Cairns, Managing Director of MV Commercial, says: “Fruehauf is a major local employer and we will be transferring 100 per cent of the current workforce under TUPE.
“We also have a clear ambition to grow our presence on site. Grantham is the perfect fit for us, and the longer-term goal is to bring additional employment and apprenticeship opportunities to the town.”
Sir Richard Tollemache of Buckminster Estates, which owns the land the Fruehauf factory sits on, added: “I am absolutely thrilled to have MV Commercial taking on this business, and at their vision for developing a transport industry hub within Grantham.
“It is essential that we secure jobs and future employment opportunities for the area as without employment, there’s no point in building the new housing which is being proposed. This investment and commitment from MV Commercial is precisely what we need and will help contribute to the revitalisation of our town centre.”