Coronavirus has forced a Knaresborough manufacturer to adapt its trolleys and racks for use in morgues, rather than catering venues.
Craven & Co has been in operation for more than 60 years, with 80% of its products used in the catering and hospitality industries.
During lockdown many of these orders dropped off, but the company’s previous work making medical supplies meant that it won a vital NHS contract.
It was tasked with making frontline medical equipment for the Nightingale hospitals, including 12,500 IV stands, which were transported across the country.
Wez Dance, its director, said this came as a “godsend” that led to further NHS work. The new contract also encouraged Craven & Co to move into the mortuary industry as it had previously planned.
Its existing products such as racks and trolleys can be easily adapted for mortuaries.
Mr Dance suspected the high numbers of catering and hospitality orders they received pre-lockdown would never return and that diversifying was necessary.
“The world changed last March and the impact on the hospitality industry was a massive, massive hit for us. We knew we had to diversify and go into new markets to survive.”
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The company appointed a new sales manager, Trevor Russ, with previous experience in the mortuary industry to help with the expansion.
Mr Dance added:
“We are delighted to welcome Trevor at such an exciting time in Craven & Co’s story. Over 60 years, we’ve become known for our high-quality British-made products, quick turnaround, competitive pricing and great customer service, not to mention our bespoke solutions. We’re hoping these elements, combined with Trevor’s knowledge and expertise, will help us break into a niche market.”