A new contract to take 90 people through HGV training and being approved as a DVSA Test Centre are just two of the latest milestones for a highly successful Teesside training and haulage company.
Cleveland LGV Training Ltd, started in 2015 by former SSI worker Dan Wilcox after the Redcar steelworks closed, has grown way beyond expectations with a turnover approaching £3m and a workforce of 33.
The Middlesbrough-based company now has three parallel businesses covering HGV training, haulage and repairs.
The company’s current fleet of around 30 trucks started out with just two HGVs after UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary, helped with a start-up loan of a few thousand pounds from its Regeneration Fund.
“That relatively small amount of finance came at a time when there just wasn’t the money to get the business up-and-running so it was massively important,” said Dan Wilcox. “UK Steel Enterprise was one of the first organisations to back us and it was also a significant confidence boost and helped to encourage other organisations to support us. We have also been able to tap into two strands of SSI Task Force funding.”
Cleveland LGV Training’s latest contract, from an organisation in the education sector and involving 90 trainees, means the company is now looking for additional full-time instructors.
“We also have plans to expand our training to other areas in the UK,” explained Dan Wilcox. “And, now we have been approved as a DVSA Test Centre, our own trainees and others can take their tests here on the doorstep.”
As the only training company in the North East to have its own transport company, Cleveland LGV can provide employment for its trainees and that business is growing too. The repairs arm carries out all the company’s own vehicle maintenance with plans in hand to offer the service to other companies.
Named Newcomer of the Year in the North East Business Awards 2017, the company’s recent move to larger premises gave it room for expansion including a permanent training room.
“One of the most satisfying things is that we have been able to take on more than 10 former SSI workers,” said Dan Wilcox. “There was a gap in the market for training drivers locally and it has really paid off.”
Sarah Thorpe, UK Steel Enterprise’s Area Manager, said: “Cleveland LGV Training is a real success story and Dan has more than repaid the confidence we had in him and his business plan. In around two years the business has achieved substantial growth and created valuable jobs, including some for former SSI workers,” she added.
Photo: Sarah Thorpe of UK Steel Enterprise with (from left) Dan Wilcox, Jim Glew and Matt Switzer of Cleveland LGV Training Ltd.