South Scotland

Prisoner vehicles boost Penman's prospects

Penman Engineering

An armoured vehicle firm bought out of administration more than two years ago has enjoyed a "great start" to 2019, according to its new owners.

Hull-based Martin Williams Ltd took over Penman Engineering near Dumfries in November 2016.

Director Chris Williams said last year had been "solid" and boosted by a large order for prisoner escort vehicles.

Staffing numbers now stand at 70 - about half the level before it went into administration.

Mr Williams said they were continually looking at areas to expand the business.

"We had a solid year in 2018," he said.

"Although it was not as busy as we would have liked we have increased our workload and managed to deliver a large order of prisoner escort vehicles working alongside our sister company Martin Williams (Hull) Ltd.

"This has given us the platform to grow this area of the business as we have a high quality product in a specialised market that fits well with the type of work Penman carry out."

'Successful period'

He said the picture for the year ahead looked positive.

"We now have more large orders coming into 2019 which take us past the second quarter of 2019 which is a great start," he said.

He said they were "fully confident" their order book would be full for the year within months which would herald a "successful period" for Penman.

Mr Williams added that they were "trying to see the positives" in Brexit with the potential for more export work creating more employment and opportunities in the group.

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