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CoolKit, the UK’s largest specialist in refrigerated vans, has reaffirmed its commitment to Burnley following the devastating fire at one of its Farrington Place units.

CEO Rupert Gatty received a new Burnley Bondholder certificate from Burnley Council Chief Executive Lukman Patel, who was joined by Martyn Hardacre from the Business Support Team and Burnley Place Brand Manager Rachel Bayley.

Following a major fire, CoolKit retain a unit on the Rossendale Road Industrial Estate to carry out their panel manufacturing operations, whilst assembly operations  have relocated to a premises in Blackburn.

“CoolKit is a proud member of the Burnley Bondholders and the local business community, and I just want to reiterate my thanks for all the support we received following that fire. I’m delighted to announce that despite that, where thankfully all our employees were unharmed, we’re now in the strongest position we have ever been in.

“A number of major contract wins have necessitated an intensive recruitment drive, which continues as our headcount passes130 people employed across our two sites. This is in conjunction with substantial investment in plant and machinery, with more than £500,000 recently invested in new CNC machinery. Our order book for van conversions and insulated bodywork is the fullest it’s ever been, which is a testimony to all of the hard work of our employees and the support we received from the council and business community to get to this position,” Rupert said.

Lukman stated: “We were of course concerned when we learnt about the fire and offered our immediate support, but it’s uplifting to hear how far CoolKit has come since then and we’re delighted they remain proud members of the Burnley Bondholders. “Our businesses and people are known for their resilience and determination, and this is a fantastic example. We look forward to continuing our positive and long-term relationship with CoolKit.”

Rupert also acknowledged the time Lukman, Martyn and Rachel had taken to visit the site for a tour and for the certificate presentation, as well as the ongoing communications behind the scenes.

“I’m well aware that not every local authority offers the same personal service or a scheme such as the Bondholders. The council, business support and brand team are a hardworking, focussed team who are determined to make a difference – and we really are lucky to have them here in Burnley.”

CoolKit has recently secured several significant contracts with customers in pharmaceutical and healthcare distribution as well as home delivery of groceries and ready meals, not only in the UK but also in numerous export markets, with the ambition to get Burnley and the CoolKit brand as far across the world as possible.