East Lothian campervan converter to turbocharge production and add first-of-its-kind facility

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An East Lothian campervan converter has been given the green light to expand its workshop and add a first-of-its-kind painting facility.

Jerba Campervans, which is based in North Berwick, will increase its production capacity following a £210,000 investment that will provide new equipment as well as a bespoke spray booth for painting a variety of campervans and leisure vehicles – said to be the first of its kind in Scotland. The new facility has an estimated floor space of 190 square metres - fitting the equivalent of three additional vehicles - and will bring the firm’s total complex to some 1,000 square metres. It is hoped the workshop extension will be completed by the end of April.

The company specialises in converting and customising Volkswagen Transporter vans. It is officially recognised by the German automotive giant as a motorhome qualified converter, and is the only firm in Scotland to receive this qualification. Jerba became employee-owned in January 2018 and has seen productivity increase year-on-year, with a commitment to employee well-being, representation, diversity and inclusion at the core of its ethos.

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Co-founder Simon Poole said: “At Jerba, we are always looking for new ways to develop our services and output as demand for our products continues to rise. The workshop expansion is the first of many plans to expand our capacity and productivity, and therefore we are ecstatic to have received planning permission for the extension.

“An in-house spray booth will ensure that we have far greater control of our production and will allow us to increase the variety, scale and frequency of paint jobs that we can undertake. There is definitely a market across Scotland for specialist paint spraying in the leisure vehicle sector and we are confident that we will be able to fill that gap. Without doubt the last year has been extremely challenging for everyone within the manufacturing sector, and so this is a terrific lift for the company and for our team as a whole as we look forward to a prosperous 2023,” he added.

In October, the firm bought and fitted out a campervan for its employees to use free of charge whenever they like. Jerba picked up the keys to a VW T6.1 model, which employees have converted for themselves within the factory. Staff will be able to book the campervan, which the firm says would normally cost around £1,000 per week to rent, for personal trips or holidays.

During this summer, the firm sold one of its vehicles to the renowned founder of fellow employee-owned firm Richer Sounds for the latter’s staff to use. Julian Richer, founder and MD of the UK-wide hi-fi retailer, bought a bespoke Transporter - for use by any of its staff free of charge. Richer Sounds, which is 60 per cent employee-owned and involved with a number of charities, said it decided to purchase its van from a company with similar values to its own, with both firms members of the Good Business Charter group, which was set up by Richer.

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