Venari Group in Brighouse strikes agreement with German firm to build firefighting equipment

Specialist vehicle builder Venari Group has announced a manufacturing partnership agreement with German firefighting truck and equipment manufacturer Ziegler Group.

Done deal: Ken Davy, chairman of Venari Group; René Pol, chief sales officer of Ziegler Group and Oliver North, CEO of Venari Group.

The agreement marks a return to the firefighting equipment market for the CEO of Venari, Oliver North, following his departure from Rosenbauer UK, the company he had founded.

Venari Group encompasses ambulance builder O&H Vehicle Technology and the deal will support the creation of 70 jobs at Venari’s new 60,000 sq ft production facility in Brighouse.

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Mr North said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce this partnership, which is exciting for all parties involved, including ourselves, Ziegler, the UK firefighting market, and the wider economy.”

The partnership will, for the first time, see Ziegler’s range of products built in the UK for the British firefighting and rescue market.

Ziegler is headquartered in Giengen, Germany. The company was founded in 1891 and employs 1,350 staff over seven production sites. It has five international sales locations.

René Pol, chief sales officer and a member of Ziegler’s board, said: “As a global leader in firefighting technology, it is critically important that we only partner with organisations that share our passion for perfection.

“After thorough assessment of one of the industry’s most exciting new brands, Venari, we are delighted to have the company as our manufacturing, sales and service partner for the UK fire market.

“We have been searching for a high-quality UK partner for the past seven years to no avail.

“Now, in Venari, led by Oliver North, we have a business partner that shares our passion for technology, efficiency and reliability and to be able to manufacture here in the UK is the best thing for the British economy.”

Both Venari and Ziegler said in a joint statement that the agreement was “a tailor-made Brexit model”.

Mr North said: “With Venari having ambitious plans for the emergency vehicle market, we were keen to arrive in the sector with a fundamental increase in technology and innovation from the current firefighting standard.

“Ziegler’s vehicles have evolved over the past 125 years and are the best I have ever had the pleasure of trialling. To manufacture them in Yorkshire, according to Ziegler’s IP, specifically for the British fire market is fantastic for the region.”

Last month Venari unveiled plans to begin manufacturing at the new factory in Brighouse.

The new headquarters would allow Venari to expand into wider emergency services and security markets, in the UK and globally, the company said, following an investment of £4m. Goole-based O&H Vehicle Technology, which is part of the group, will look to strengthen its position as an ambulance builder in the UK.

Mr North said: “We’re thrilled to unveil the blueprint for our growth plans, which begin in early 2020. At a time when many may choose to tread more carefully than usual, we’re investing in new employees, new technology and sophisticated plant machinery.

“Venari’s new headquarters will serve as a benchmark for the group philosophy of lean and world-class production, in conjunction with an unrivalled culture, positive atmosphere and incredible working conditions. It will amplify the passion we have for British manufacturing and serve the customer to an unprecedented standard.”