Growth funds for family business

Chris Walker, Katy McIntosh, George Thornton and Gary Roe are looking to expand Thornton Brothers.
Chris Walker, Katy McIntosh, George Thornton and Gary Roe are looking to expand Thornton Brothers.

A well-established family business is preparing to expand after receiving new funding.

Thornton Brothers has operated in Northumberland for more than 40 years, starting in the manufacture of recovery vehicles and truck refurbishment, before moving into bus refurbishment.

Now the Ashington business has been awarded £48,800 from the North East Rural Growth Network to support its expansion.

Director George Thornton said: “The support of the grant funding and the delivery team from Arch and Business Northumberland has been invaluable for the continued growth of our business and our ability to create more jobs for local people.”

Since its diversification, the company has emerged as a leading player in the national bus refurbishment market and boasts customers such as Arriva, Abellio and London United.

Funding will help it to install a bus MOT testing lane with equipment, a testing pit and two heavy vehicle lifts.

The expansion of the business follows a strong 24 months during which time it has experienced strong growth and demand.

It will enable it to undertake mechanical and electrical work.

Colin Bell, business growth director at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Thornton Brothers is an example of a strong, rural business that has the potential to develop further, and it’s fantastic to see that the planned expansion will lead to the creation of new jobs in the north east rural economy.”