20 jobs created at Consett based Explorer Group following six-figure funding boost

Consett caravan and motorhome company set to expand further following assistance from RBS

Bruce Allinson Left to right: Financial director of The Explorer Group, David Styles, RBS relationship manager, David Wilkinson and managing director of The Explorer Group, Rob Quine
Left to right: Financial director of The Explorer Group, David Styles, RBS relationship manager, David Wilkinson and managing director of The Explorer Group, Rob Quine

One of the major players in the UK’s caravan and motorhome manufacturing industry has created 20 new jobs after receiving a six-figure funding boost from RBS.

The Explorer Group Limited, based in Consett, needed additional working capital of £2m to help increase growth and even out the pressures of seasonal demand.

Following a recent surge of interest in its range, the company both reinvested its own profits and worked with David Wilkinson, Charles Treloar and Lesley Shield from RBS to secure the remaining funds.

In response, the RBS team came up with a flexible package comprising an overdraft, commercial cards and a foreign exchange facility.

With an annual turnover of £58m and 330 employees, The Explorer Group caters for a varied customer base and retails via a growing dealer network throughout the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and most recently South Korea.

The new jobs are spread across the group’s manufacturing, design and customer service functions and plans are now in place to create a further 10 roles.

The Explorer Group’s finance director David Styles said: “We’ve got back onto an even keel after a tough time during the downturn but we’re now experiencing growth thanks to our product-design led strategy.

“As our products are designed to be camped and lived in, we have taken great strides in better design and specification. We are the first and only leisure vehicle manufacturer in Europe to use structural adhesives instead of nails and screws.

“This has made our products lighter, stronger, more reliable and highly resilient to water damage. As a result we are able to offer our customers a class-leading 10 year body integrity and water ingress warranty.

“Additionally, we’ve expanded our dealer network and we are constantly striving to ever improve our customer service.”

He added that RBS had shown a willingness to understand and commit to the company’s business plans, visiting regularly and engaging with staff.

David Wilkinson from RBS said: “We are pleased to have come up with a flexible funding solution that would assist The Explorer Group in being able to increase and maintain production rates throughout the year and help them ride out seasonal fluctuations.

“It’s testament to the quality of the product that The Explorer Group celebrated its 50th Anniversary in September 2014.

“Many customers demonstrate a real passion and loyalty to the Elddis, Compass, Buccaneer and Xplore brands thanks to the company’s innovative outlook and the fact that many employees are existing caravanners and motorhome users themselves, meaning the products are designed and built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.”

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