Huddersfield entrepreneur Oliver North has unveiled his new factory after acquiring the firefighting division of the Venari Group.
Mr North’s newly-branded company North Fire Engineering Ltd has taken 12,000 sq ft premises at Belvoir House on the Caldene Business Park at Mytholmroyd.
The new factory, which will build state-of-the-art firefighting vehicles, was commissioned over the Christmas and New Year period.
North Fire founder and managing director Mr North said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to shine a spotlight on our hard work over the past few months in completing the acquisition, rebranding and setting up our new long-term home, that we will occupy for at least the next 12 years.
“The team that came with me alongside the acquisition have been supporting me as part of our journey in the industry for the past 17 years.
“And every piece of learning from our many accomplishments in that time will be harnessed at this stunning new factory – unrivalled engineering, produced at speed.”
The name North Fire is a familiar one to the UK fire and rescue market and Mr North’s first company, North Fire Ltd, was based in Brockholes and operated between 2008 and 2014 before being acquired by Rosenbauer, the world’s largest firefighting truck manufacturer.
Mr North grew Rosenbauer UK into a £20 million turnover company and left in 2019. He became managing director at Goole-based ambulance maker O&H Vehicle Technology and later teamed up again with Huddersfield entrepreneur Ken Davy – an investor in the original North Fire – to complete a management buy-out, creating Venari Group.
Mr North has now struck out on his own again and said: “When I acquired and separated the firefighting division of Venari from the group, we effectively needed a new brand.
“The team all proposed bringing a variation of North Fire back which we all thought felt perfect. The name, which represents all of us, has serious, professional and genuine equity as a true innovator and a passionate servant of an industry that we love.
“From day one and over every vehicle produced, we will prove our unrivalled passion, ability and work ethic as we strive to become the UK’s most trusted and skilled vehicle manufacturer.”
Mr North has brought his experienced team with him once again and factory foreman Roy Wilde has worked alongside Mr North since 2008.
Mr Wilde said: “Since we started in the fire and rescue vehicle market in 2008, we’ve always strived to be the best, and we can say through every phase to date, we’ve achieved precisely that, whilst constantly learning and enjoying every step of the journey.
“Activation of North Fire Engineering allows us to stay focused solely on our speciality – firefighting and rescue technology – without distractions from other fields.
“We have been able to hand pick the best and most passionate skilled workers in the industry, and our new state-of-the-art factory enables us to do it to the highest possible standards.”