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19 June, 2006 - 18:39 By Staff Reporter

Orders from super-rich power expansion for Northants boat maker

An increase in demand from the Mediterranean jet set for luxury performance powerboats is fuelling international expansion at Northampton based manufacturer, Fairline Boats.

The boat builder is putting together detailed plans for a new factory it intends to open at its Nene Valley site following the local authority’s decision to grant the project planning permission.

The factory is an integral part of Fairline’s corporate growth strategy and together with the newly opened state-of-the-art product development facility – Tyson Court – will be instrumental in the development of a new range of 46-65 ft models it plans to launch worldwide during the next two years.

The 10,000 sq ft facility will employ modern, lean manufacturing techniques and is in addition to the in-house design and development department at the company’s Oundle headquarters.

Technical director Adam Greenwood, said: “The new location enables concurrent development of future products to meet the accelerated new boat introduction programmes at Fairline.

“Under one roof we will have integrated 3D design facilities, as well as key manufacturing capabilities that allow us to focus on the creation of new boats and manufacturing techniques. We will also offer meeting and conference facilities on-site.”

Fairline, which celebrates its 40th anniversary next year, sells over 95 per cent of its boats overseas.

The company specialises in coastal vessels and its single highest market is the Mediterr-anean, where the company is continuing to grow.

Just a few weeks ago Fairline South Mallorca ann-ounced the opening of its second dedicated sales premises in the exclusive Santa Ponça marina, South West Mallorca.

The dealership has gone from strength to strength since its appointment as a Fairline dealer and is ranked as one of Fairline’s most successful dealers, receiving a prestigious sales award at the recent Fairline dealer business conference.

Marketing manager at Fairline, Bryan Jones, said: “We are seeing a very large increase in retail sold product and are well ahead of our targets.

“We have seventy nine per cent of sales from retail this year so far, which is 14 per cent higher than our target and 21 per cent ahead of what it was at this stage last year.”

Fairline chief executive, Derek Carter, first alluded to the company’s expansion plans in June last year when he led a £40 million 3i-backed management buy-out from Fairline’s previous owner, the Renwick Group.

Carter said: “Fairline’s plans for the future are tremendously exciting.

“We will continue to design and manufacture quality, class leading luxury motor boats thanks to a highly skilled workforce of 1,100 personnel – now over 1,200 – at our bases in Oundle and Corby.

“The sales outlook at Fairline is good with strong forward order books.

“Further funds are likely to be invested in the future to support the building of a new facility to increase the number of product lines that we produce.”

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