VANMASTER CARAVANS HAS been rescued from administration, and will operate under the new name of Signature Caravans.
The Wigan-based company will continue to build a range of tourers to the same high standards that attracted a loyal following to Vanmaster.
The new owner is Philip Narey, who acquired the assets of the business from the administrator, including the tooling, brand name and unfinished tourers within the factory.
Signature will begin building tourers again at the existing Wigan site, for which Philip renewed the lease.
Philip has re-employed eight of the staff made redundant, and will continue to retail direct to customers.
Regarding work on Vanmaster vans under warranty, Signature will do its best to put right any problems at reduced rates.
Vanmaster fell into administration at the end of April this year, when all 20 employees were made redundant and production of its caravans ceased.
The firm was founded in 1995 and built an enviable reputation for quality with its bespoke, handcrafted tourers. In early 2009, Ian and Lesley Thompson took over the company, investing in and developing the product significantly.
Vanmaster had only recently acquired the Bentley Motorhomes brand from administration, in September 2012. Production of these models halted at the separate Mexborough manufacturing plant following Vanmaster’s fall into administration.
The Bentley Motorhomes brand continues to look for a buyer.
A drop in orders, together with supplier issues, were blamed for the demise of Vanmaster.
We spoke to Philip, who explained he’d been involved in the construction industry for around 20 years, running Cast Stone, which he sold some eight years ago.
Philip has been caravanning for 30 years, starting out with a Trophy caravan in the mid 1980s. He purchased a Vanmaster Signature 640 tourer at the end of last year, and took delivery in March, at which time he learned the firm was in difficulties.
Signature Caravans will be run as a family concern, including Philip’s son Michael. Philip has also recruited the help of one of Vanmaster’s original founders, Cyril Darwin, to pass on his knowledge of building quality tourers.
For more details, call Signature Caravans on 01942 212 194.