Caravans take family to another planet!

A family business near Scunthorpe that has been successful for more than 40 years is entering a new era with exciting expansion plans.

RNS partner Alex Douglas (left) congratulates Inglewood Caravans director Tom Burrows at their premises in Messingham on becoming a dealer for the Venus range of Lunar caravans.

A family business near Scunthorpe that has been successful for more than 40 years is entering a new era with exciting expansion plans.

Inglewood Leisure, based in Messingham, has become a dealer for the Venus range of Lunar caravans – expanding its range to include new models for the first time since the firm was established.

It also has plans to extend its caravan storage facility and develop a caravan and camping site, which could open this time next year.

The growth has been achieved with the long-standing support of RNS Chartered Accountants, based in Scunthorpe, Brigg and Barton.

The caravan arm of the business was launched around five years ago, building on the reputation of N and P Burrows Fireplaces, which was started on the same site more than 40 years ago by the late Norman Burrows and his son Paul, who is still the managing director and has been joined by his son Tom, a director.

Also a director is Paul’s wife Elizabeth and their daughter Clare is company secretary.

Tom said the expansion into caravans was prompted by a desire to utilise the six-acre site and an adjoining field.

It began with a caravan storage facility – which now accommodates around 200 at any one time – and has grown to include a workshop offering servicing, repairs, valeting and warranty work, plus a shop selling accessories and spares.

The range of used caravans boasts some of the finest, most well cared for vehicles you could ever find, from starter models up to luxury twin axle ones, and the addition of the new Venus range is the icing on the cake.

Tom said last year was the best so far for Inglewood Leisure and said: “We like to think it’s down to our established name and location and the fact we are a small family business – we still offer the personal touch.”

Paul Burrows, wife Elizabeth, son Tom and daughter Clare with examples of the Michael Miller Collection fireplaces at their showroom.

He added that sales of new and used caravans had “gone through the roof” over the last 10 years and said: “It’s never been as popular as it is now.”

BBC figures show that in the UK just over 22,000 touring caravans were sold in the year to June - a 7% rise on the previous 12 months - while sales for the entire leisure vehicle market, which also includes motor homes and static caravans, rose by 9% to more than 56,000.

The UK market is second only to that of the US, and Tom attributed the growth to the popularity of “staycationing” due to fears about terrorism and the cost of taking children away during school holidays.

“It also enables people to get weekends away frequently – it’s still relatively low cost,” he said.

Tom added help from RNS Chartered Accountants had also led to the company gaining Financial Conduct Authority approval to broker finance.

“We have a relationship going back 20 years and they have helped us a great deal along the way,” he said.

However the expansion of the caravan business doesn’t mean the fireplaces have taken a backseat.

N and P Burrows Fireplaces has taken on a new dealership of its own – it is now one of only around 40 showrooms to offer the prestigious Michael Miller Collection.

“It’s a quality product at a reasonable price and we offer a good service to go with it,” said Tom.

The range includes fabulous open-sided models, sleek 'hole-in-the-wall' designs and easy-to-install fires that don't need a chimney, all backed by a 25-year guarantee.

Alex Douglas, partner at RNS Chartered Accountants, said Tom was the third generation to take the Burrows’ family business forward and wished the firm “all the best” with its expansion plans.

He said: “We have been pleased to help wherever we can and hope to continue to support Tom in his ambitions.”

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