A leading North West agricultural machinery business which counts Manchester United among its customers is expanding with support from Yorkshire Bank.
Clarke and Pulman Ltd, which is based in Burscough, Lancashire, has recruited two new trainee engineers, including a 16-year-old apprentice, and extended its sales team after a period of rapid growth. It is also planning to move to larger premises to accommodate its burgeoning number of staff and services.
The firm’s extraordinary growth – staffing levels have increased by almost 50 per cent in the last five years – were enabled by banking facilities worth almost £1million from Yorkshire Bank, including substantial working capital finance. The facilities were arranged by Ian Hardman, head of the Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Preston.
Founded in 2003, Clarke and Pulman Ltd sells, hires and services agricultural and groundcare machinery. It has up to 40 machines on hire around the country at any one time. Among the leading brands it stocks are Massey Ferguson, Kuhn and Fendt. In 2011, it secured an agreement to become the North West’s only supplier of JCB machinery and parts.
The firm’s customers range from farms and agricultural businesses to local authorities and football clubs, including Manchester United, seeking groundcare equipment. One of its largest clients is Huntapac, a major root vegetable supplier with more than 300 staff and contracts to supply some of the biggest supermarkets in the UK.
Since Clarke and Pulman Ltd switched to Yorkshire Bank in 2007, staffing levels have risen from 14 to 25. The firm’s latest recruits are a 20-year-old agricultural studies graduate and a 16-year-old school leaver, who begins his apprenticeship with Clarke and Pulman this month [September]. Each will be trained as agricultural engineers, a highly specialised profession due to the complex nature of tractor electronics.
As a result of the company’s ongoing expansion, it is planning to move to bigger premises. It currently operates from a purpose-built 8000sq ft site in the Lancashire market town of Burscough.
Ged Clarke, Clarke and Pulman Ltd’s managing director, said: “From the moment the business was established in 2003, it has been our aim to become one of the UK’s leading agricultural machinery dealerships. I am proud to say, with help from our banking partners, Yorkshire Bank, we are well on our way to achieving that goal.
“Key to our success has been Yorkshire Bank’s flexible approach to banking facilities and its expertise in growing businesses. The team’s comprehensive understanding of the agribusiness sector has also been a major benefit.”
David Hannon, Yorkshire Bank’s head of agribusiness, said: “Clarke and Pulman has earned a first class reputation within the farming industry for its wide range of machinery, knowledgeable staff and high standard of aftersales care.
“It has been a pleasure to help it achieve its growth aspirations and Yorkshire Bank looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with the business as it seeks new ways to develop.”