Blackpool-based Fox Group has acquired Blackledge Plant Hire in a deal which further increases its size and capacity.

It will create a group with a combined turnover forecast to be around £85m this year.

Established in the 1970s, Blackledge Plant Hire is based in Bamber Bridge, Lancashire and has built a strong reputation as a plant hire specialist. A second generation, family-run business, it has 40 machines and 14 trucks.

The Fox Group has made several strategic moves to expand its capacity and reach in recent years. 2020 saw the acquisition of Hurt (Plant Hire) and in 2021, it welcomed JJ O’Grady to the group, as it continues to consolidate its position as one of the largest providers of haulage and plant hire services in Lancashire.

With this latest deal, Fox Group now boasts a combined 230-strong wagon fleet and more than 440 items of plant and machinery, together with over 530 employees.

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Established in 1932, it specialises in the supply and haulage of aggregates, recycled materials, muck-shift, earthworks and civil engineering projects.

It was advised on the deal by Hill Dickinson while Blackledge Plant Hire was advised by Farleys.

“This acquisition makes perfect sense for us," said Fox Group MD Paul Fox. "Blackledge is a well-run business with great people and has a track record of providing excellent services to a wide range of clients in the local area. It also means that we get a welcome boost to the Group’s existing fleet of quality vehicles and plant.”

“Blackledge Plant Hire is a welcome addition to the Fox Group. It is a major part of our Group’s continuing strategy of growth.”

Next month, The Fox Group will also introduce two new Volvo FE Electric trucks to its fleet, which it said was a milestone in the drive to Net Zero.