Tractor dealership goes for growth after expanding into Kent and East Sussex

Tuckwell's Ardleigh, Colchester dealership. P Tuckwell has acquired Burden Bros Agri dealership Pic

Tuckwell's Ardleigh, Colchester dealership. P Tuckwell has acquired Burden Bros Agri dealership Picture: JEMMA WATTS - Credit: Jemma Watts Photography

A John Deere tractor dealership operating across Suffolk and Essex is poised to snap up another operation which takes it into southern England.

The owners of family firm P Tuckwell have reached an agreement to acquire the Burden Bros Agri Ltd John Deere dealership business – which covers Kent, East Sussex and parts of Surrey for agricultural and turf equipment – for an undisclosed sum.

It brings the total number of Tuckwell outlets from seven to 10, including its existing dealerships covering Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

Both parties are working towards a completion date of the end of October 2020, when the Burden Bros Agri business will join the Tuckwell group and be fully owned and managed by the Tuckwell family.

MORE – Farmer’s treasure found under layers of dust at back of barn goes under hammerAll employees will transfer as part of the deal and the three existing Burden Bros dealership branch locations at Stockbury and Ivychurch in Kent and Framfield in East Sussex will be retained.

Dealer principal James Tuckwell – whose grandfather Len Tuckwell started the business in 1954 in Worlingworth – welcomed the purchase deal.

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“The acquisition shows our total commitment to both the ag and turf industries, and consolidates our standing as one of the UK’s leading machinery dealerships. It also enables us to build on BBA’s hard work and support our customers, new and old, by delivering exceptional customer experience,” he said.

Len’s son Paul joined the company in 1975 and launched P Tuckwell Ltd with the opening of a new depot in Ardleigh, near Colchester. In 1986, Tuckwells entered the amenity market with the appointment as a John Deere turf dealers for Essex.

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It has continued to grow through acquisition, taking on Blyth and Pawsey in Essex in 2001, and JE Buckle Engineering in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire in 2012, becoming one of the largest machinery dealerships in the UK, employing around 200 staff across its sites. These include centres in Worlingworth and Sudbury in Suffolk, Ardleigh near Colchester, Great Dunmow and Rayleigh in Essex, Mauldon in Bedfordshire and Cromer in Hertfordshire.

“The combined dealership will be in a strong position to make the future investments required in facilities and technologies, proactively support our customers, develop our teams and continue growing in a responsible and sustainable manner. Such growth gives a strong platform that will enable our business to continue building on the great legacy that my grandfather started 66 years ago, while keeping our core value of looking after people at the forefront of our planning,” said James.

John Deere Limited division sales manager Joedy Ibbotson expressed thanks to managing partner Dale Burden and the Burden family for “the outstanding job they have done in supporting and growing the John Deere brand in south east England since becoming a dealer just over 13 years ago”.

“We are delighted that they have reached this agreement with Tuckwells, which ensures the continuity of the Burden Bros team and dealership outlets within the John Deere network. This is a great fit, combining two businesses with closely aligned values based on outstanding customer service with a focus on precision technology and connected support,” he said.

The Tuckwell family also operates Tuckwell Farms, a 1500 acre working farm focused on trialling equipment and technology as well championing farming through biology and sustainable methods.

It comprises 610ha of farmland across Framlingham, Worlingworth and Brundish.

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