Yorkshire businessman Andrew Lupton who ran family firm Econ Engineering dies suddenly aged 56

Ripon-based Econ Engineering has announced the sudden death of its sales director Andrew Lupton.

A spokesman for the company, which manufactures most of the country’s gritters and snowploughs, said 56-year-old Mr Lupton had died unexpectedly on Sunday January 9.

A statement said: “His untimely death has come as a terrible shock and will take some time for us to come to terms with. Our thoughts at this incredibly sad time go out to his family and all those who knew Andrew, either professionally or personally.

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Andrew Lupton, right, with brother Jonathan

“Andrew, who ran this second-generation family engineering business alongside his brother and co-director, Jonathan Lupton and finance director Bev Shepherd, did so with immense passion and enthusiasm.

“It was his drive and determination that helped grow Econ into the business it is today – the leading manufacturer of gritters and highway maintenance vehicles in the UK.

“The industry we operate in is a niche one, and Andrew was an incredibly well-respected figure within it.

“It is our intention to open a book of condolence in due course.”

Mr Lupton was treated in the intensive care unit at Harrogate District Hospital after he was taken ill.

The company was formed by his father in 1969, originally specialising in agricultural machinery before diversifying into highway maintenance. He joined the business in the 1980s.Econ provide their own gritters for hire and have a workforce of 250. Work is underway on a new engineering facility near Thirsk which will be home to the 900-strong hire fleet.