Plans to build new ambulance model at Ford Dagenham and create 100 jobs

The Ford Dagenham engine plant. Picture: Isabel Infantes.

There are plans for a new ambulance model to be produced at Ford Dagenham from 2022. - Credit: Archant

A new lightweight ambulance model is set to be produced at Ford Dagenham from next year, with about 100 jobs expected to be created.

Ford and emergency vehicle manufacturer Venari Group have unveiled the plans after signing a memorandum of understanding for a new “strategic alliance”.

The deal follows Ford’s engineering achievements in the Ventilator Challenge project during the height of the pandemic.

Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell, said: “I am really pleased that this not only brings in more job opportunities, but it will also bring a major boost to our local economy.

“The history of Ford lies at the heart of our borough, and I am pleased that this new production is happening here in our borough."

The partnership intends to build the state-of-the-art Ford Venari Lightweight Ambulance at a new facility in Ford Dagenham, using an existing non-production area that will be modified to accommodate manufacturing requirements.

Venari Group chief executive Oliver North said: “Following the truly incredible engineering achievements displayed by Ford at the Dagenham facility during the Ventilator Challenge UK project, the next chapter for Dagenham provides a continuation in production of life-saving machines, with our next-generation ambulance. 

“The Ford Venari alliance will drive efficiency in production of the transit-based frontline ambulance, whilst essentially creating new jobs.” 

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The new ambulance, with 3.5-tonne gross weight, was unveiled earlier this year and developed under Venari’s Project Siren with input from industry experts and frontline medical teams.

It was designed to improve patient treatment and ease of use for paramedics.

Ford of Europe’s marketing and sales manager for Ford Pro vehicle solutions, Paul Baynes, said: “The Ford Venari Alliance builds on Ford’s plans to re-establish its presence in the UK ambulance market by working with the UK’s leading ambulance builder, and supports our wider ambition of growing Ford’s market presence through strategic alliances with key vehicle converters.”

The ambulance features advanced digital connectivity to support efficient restocking and vehicle maintenance, while the lightweight design helps reduce emissions and operating costs associated with using heavier vehicles.

The design is compliant with the national specification advocated by the Lord Carter Report.