Jobs woe at caravan firm

Vanmaster Martland Mill
Vanmaster Martland Mill
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WIGAN’S job sector has suffered another crushing blow as a luxury caravan manufacturer has slid into administration.

Staff at the Martland Mill Industrial Estate based Vanmaster Ltd knew their job security was uncertain throughout last week but their fate was confirmed on Tuesday.

The company - which operated as both Vanmaster Caravans and Bentley Motorhomes - employed 20 people on two sites in Wigan, all of whom have been informed of their redundancy by administrators Geoffrey Martin and Co who confirmed ongoing production was no longer possible.

Partner James Sleight told the Evening Post that despite the company’s demise, they were confident a buyer could still be found for the company.

He said: “The business has entered administration due to a drop in orders and supplier issues which affected production.

“We believe that either or both businesses (Vanmaster and Bentley) could be complementary to existing manufacturers or retailers.

“And therefore we are hopeful that a buyer can be found.”

Those who have bought or agreed deals to purchase caravans from the company face uncertainty about existing warranties and orders and have been asked to contact the administrators for further information.

Vanmaster’s decline means it joins the ever increasing list of Wigan-based companies that have fallen into administration in the last year including JJB Sports, HW Glass and BHW Components in addition to Ince-based Bulldog Tools announcing plans this week to out source its manufacturing operation, putting 40 jobs at risk.

On a brighter not, logistics firm Yodel, which is a neighbour of Vanmaster at Martland Park, recently announced plans to consolidate operations at the Wigan hub and add to its already 500-plus workforce.

The specialist caravan manufacturers hand-built 30 to 40 items per year, with their website describing that each is “meticulously designed” by experts who devote “more than 800 hours” to each build.

Vanmaster had only acquired their counterparts Bentley Motorhomes in September last year.

At the time of the deal, directors spoke of recommencing production at Bentley’s Rotherham factory and were working to ensure that existing warranties on their motorhomes would be supported.

No directors from Vanmaster were available to comment on the company’s administration.

Deputy council leader, Coun David Molyneux, said: “It is a terrible blow when any job losses occur in the borough.

“I am upset to hear about what has happened to Vanmaster and we will see if we at the council can offer support to those workers who have been made redundant in any way we can.”

Anyone with outstanding deposits and order or queries relating to warranties and servicing is asked to contact the administrators on 0113 244 5141.