THE UK's largest gritter manufacturer is celebrating the start of its 50th year in business with a series of events that will see its products showcased across the country.

Econ Engineering employs more than 200 staff at its Ripon headquarters and manufacturing base, where hundreds of the UK’s fleet of winter maintenance vehicles are also stored and serviced each year.

To celebrate its 50th year, the company has built a golden gritter that will tour the UK in the autumn, visiting communities across the UK.

The one-off vehicle will be based at the company’s Gritter Museum, a private showroom of historic machinery based at the Ripon factory that will also be open to the public on May 11.

Econ is the largest employer in the North Yorkshire city, and the company now produces 80 per cent of all the salt spreading vehicles used on the UK’s roads. The £28m turnover family business continues to recruit for new staff after a dramatic upsurge in orders from local authorities and other clients.

Econ sales director Andrew Lupton said: “We wanted to show the people of Ripon what’s behind the doors at Econ, and give them a glimpse of the factory and the products we make here that we are so very proud of.

"The Golden Gritter is unique, and is even more eye catching than the usual striking ‘high vis’ yellow lorries we are famous for making locally.

"We’re really proud of the team and their work.”

Anyone planning to attend the open day should email with estimated numbers. Further information is available at