Lancashire legacy recognised for excellence

3/14/2024 10:10:00 AM
The Dennis Eagle plant in Blackpool, Lancashire, has been announced as a finalist in three categories in the county’s Red Rose Awards, demonstrating the company’s drive towards progress and sustainability, not just in the region, but globally.

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Plant Manager, Oliver Minett (centre) with the Blackpool team


Dennis Eagle Blackpool is nominated in categories for: Export, Made in Lancashire, and the Environmental, Social and Governance awards. Judges will deliver their decisions at the finals on 14 March.


Blackpool plant manager Oliver Minett stated, "Being finalists in not one but three categories is a significant achievement and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team, who I’m extremely proud of. We're one of the biggest manufacturers in Lancashire, with a talented workforce and in the past year, we've made significant strides in each of those categories.“


Driving change

The awards announcement comes at a time of increased investment and growth for our Burton Road site which has been manufacturing and supplying cabs to our Warwick headquarters since 1990, supplying more than 15,000 units in that time.


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The production line currently manufactures 30 cabs per week, but has recently undergone significant investment and reconfiguration, including better access, stock efficiencies and production flow, resulting in takt time improvement and an increase in online production space from 11 to 18 cabs. Plans are now underway to progress to achieving 40 cab builds per week to support sales growth targets.


Export excellence

They may begin life in Lancashire, but the hand-built cabs are exported all over the world. Of the weekly output from Blackpool, 20 typically head for Europe and the UK, while 10 are destined for Australia, the USA and Canada. From Hawaii to New York, the Lancashire-made cabs are well-represented throughout the US.


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Green giants

As a leading manufacturer in the waste sector, sustainability is a core company value. Dennis Eagle was the first to build a fully electric refuse truck and now their assembly is becoming more sustainable too.

“It’s important for us to show the way with sustainable practices,” explained Minett. “Environmental improvements include a project to install solar panels on the south-facing roof which will generate more than enough electricity to operate the site, with a third of what’s generated exported back to the grid."


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Engaging with the community is a priority, too. Blackpool has pioneered a Sustainable Schools Programme run in conjunction with councils around the UK. The star of the ‘Dennis to the Rescue’ programme is a refuse truck converted into a mobile classroom which visits schools, driving behaviour change with education. Pupils visit the truck for a session on recycling and environmental awareness and conduct a litter pick in the area.


Made in Lancashire

As one of the last HGV manufacturers in the UK, the Blackpool plant helps maintain the country’s manufacturing legacy. The site team is dedicated to keeping the supply chain local, beneficial in managing complications caused by Brexit, and having once been the site of the Duple coach builders, the team has a huge amount of experience in cab building. Many employees have been with the company for more than twenty years with some having worked at the site when coaches not cabs poured out of the factory gates. Much has changed since to evolve both the site and workforce. There are regular staff development opportunities and new apprentices taken on every year.


“We’re looking forward to meeting other Lancashire finalists at the awards evening next month. We’ll be bringing representatives from every department to celebrate being finalists because Blackpool’s success is only made possible by working together as a team,” said Minett.