Yorkshire based Venari Group, one of the UK’s leading emergency services vehicle producers, has announced a £10m equity investment from shareholders to secure both long term support for their customer focused innovation programme together with skilled British manufacturing jobs. The business remains committed to delivering the highest standards of quality and safety, most recently demonstrated by the extensive design, development, and crash-testing of its latest range of NHS Fiat Ducato Double Crewed Emergency Ambulances and Ford Transit Patient Transport Service vehicles. These are being built to the NHS and Department for Transport’s GB Whole Vehicle Type Approval safety requirements, including CEN BS EN 1789:2020 for DCAs, which will be verified by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).
Venari Managing Director, Mark Brickhill, said, “Venari’s ambulances are built and tested to the very highest standards, which are subject to VCA Conformity of Production auditing once certified. Our paramedics, crews and patients deserve nothing less and I am proud of our team of engineers, skilled coachbuilders, auto-electricians and fabricators who together have made this possible.”
Ensuring these high standards sees the group uniquely placed to embark on a significant increase in ambulance production for the NHS, its supporting private fleet operators, and export customers. Deliveries this financial year will top 800 vehicles, with the ambition to grow further in the coming years following the latest investment, together with a likely consolidation of production at the group’s site in Goole, which this year celebrates 35 years of British manufacturing.
Venari’s latest innovation is an industry-leading all-electric Ford Transit Patient Transport Service vehicle (below), which was unveiled at The Emergency Services Show, at the NEC, in September.
To ensure that the business remains cost-competitive via the consolidation at Goole, Venari has also announced its proposal to cease production at the company’s second site in Brighouse. However, to support the overall production increase, if that proposal comes to fruition, the company intends to offer all of its shop-floor workers comparable roles at Goole, together with financial incentives to retain them. Speaking following the announcement, Mark Brickhill said, “This investment will allow us to offer more highly skilled British jobs, together with a growing apprenticeship programme, in Goole, which is the UK’s oldest, and largest, ambulance manufacturing site. We are starting the employee consultation process today to ensure that together we both maximise job retention and deliver the best value to our customers.”
Venari Group envisages significant further investment at Goole driving production efficiencies, increased capacity, speed and improved customer service, while streamlining operations and supporting the group’s commitment to being carbon neutral by 2027. The company’s investment plans will see it continue to develop as a specialist vehicle converter. This year already over 100 armoured vehicles have been delivered to Ukraine, a Drone Command Vehicle was showcased at The Emergency Services Show, together with partner Heliguy, and the Venari team is currently developing a new high-tech range of rapid response vehicles (RRVs) using lightweight materials from the aviation industry to minimise weight.
The company has also announced it is in negotiations to potentially sell its fire fighting division to former CEO, Oliver North, securing some jobs in the Brighouse area, following a period of due diligence and employee consultation. Mr North’s new business, North Fire Engineering, will then continue vehicle production and equipment distribution into the fire fighting industry supported by its world class engineering, production and sales team.