Scottish campervan firm hails milestone on back of staycation and NC500 boom

“We hope that this stellar first half of the year will propel us to our projected record turnover” – founder Simon Poole

An East Lothian campervan converter has recorded its best opening two quarters ever, setting it on a journey to record turnover, thanks to a post-pandemic staycation boom.

Employee-owned Jerba Campervans said turnover from January to June had topped £1.8 million, marking a £600,000 increase against the same period last year. The upturn in business means that the North Berwick company is now forecasting record turnover of £3.8m for the full year, which would be a £800,000 hike on the previous record total in 2021.

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The firm has benefited from the boom in staycationing as well as increasing numbers of people looking to undertake the scenic North Coast 500 route around the north of Scotland. Jerba Campervans founder Simon Poole is also attributing the jump in revenues to investments made in the firm’s operations and a return to a regular supply chain following post-pandemic delays.

Team members at employee-owned Jerba Campervans, which is based in North Berwick.Team members at employee-owned Jerba Campervans, which is based in North Berwick.
Team members at employee-owned Jerba Campervans, which is based in North Berwick.

He said: “This growth reflects the hard work and dedication of our team and our commitment to providing high-quality, bespoke campervans to our customers. We have made significant improvements to our workshop which is enabling us to deliver more campervans, more often.

“We hope that this stellar first half of the year will propel us to our projected record turnover, and act as a catalyst for further growth in the years ahead.”

The firm added some 200 square metres to its production floor which has been in operation since January, enabling it to both diversify its customer offering into “habitation checks” and vehicle servicing, while increasing overall campervan production by about a fifth. It has also invested in a new computer numerical cutting machine that allows its carpenters and technicians to cut a range of materials to highly accurate measurements, including laminated wood and vinyl flooring.

Now, the campervan specialist has set its sights on a new partnership with automotive giant Ford. With the new Ford Transit Custom now launched, Jerba is already working on new campervan designs for the vehicle and bosses are optimistic about announcing a formal partnership with Ford by the end of this year.

After moving its staff of 16 to a four-day working week at the start of 2024, Jerba celebrated six years of employee ownership in January. The company said it was dedicated to promoting the employee ownership model within the local community, while “sharing its knowledge and ethos”.

The firm specialises in converting and customising Volkswagen Transporter vans. During summer 2022, the firm sold one of its vehicles to the renowned founder of fellow employee-owned firm Richer Sounds for the latter’s staff to use. Julian Richer, founder and MD of the UK-wide hi-fi retailer, bought a bespoke Transporter - for use by any of its staff free of charge. Richer Sounds, which is 60 per cent employee-owned and involved with a number of charities, said it decided to purchase its van from a company with similar values to its own, with both firms members of the Good Business Charter group, which was set up by Richer.

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