114 Solar panels installed at Econ’s new £7m engineering facility

The solar panels adorning the roof of the new Econ facility in Sowerby, near Thirsk

Econ Engineering’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint has seen it fitting 114 solar panels to the roof of its new £7m engineering facility near Thirsk.

The gritter manufacturer’s new North Yorkshire hub – which will create up to 50 jobs – is located on a 24-acre plot at Sowerby, 11 miles from its Ripon headquarters, and will be home to its 900-strong hire fleet.

In addition, a 2,933 sqm building currently under construction will boast an area office, workshop, spray booth, brake test unit, underseal spray area, 20-bay maintenance compound and 18 inspection pits.

Being developed by Yorkshire-based Triton Construction, work is due to be completed in Spring 2022.

Econ Engineering, which has a 250-strong workforce, makes more than 85 per cent of the UK’s winter road maintenance vehicles. In 2019, it opened its first satellite engineering hub in Alloa, Scotland, and last year it added a further facility in the Welsh capital of Cardiff.

Jonathan Lupton, Econ Engineering’s operations director, said: “As a responsible, family-owned business, we are mindful of the affect our business has on the environment.

“Over the years, investment in new technology and energy-saving measures at our Ripon manufacturing base, has helped us to significantly reduce our carbon footprint, and in turn this has lowered our running costs.

“Ahead of construction starting at our new Sowerby facility, we looked carefully at the environmental considerations. We have installed 114 solar panels, which will help to heat and light the office block, and the site will be fully landscaped to blend in with the surrounding area.

“We are also examining alternative fuels to power our gritters, including Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil (HVO), electric and hydrogen.”

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