Engineering experts buy manufacturing firm George Moate

Vegetable cultivation and harvesting equipment manufacturer George Moate has been bought by Lesley and Richard Pratt.

The couple said the expertise gained from their automotive engineering business PSS Steering & Hydraulics would "raise standards and shorten production lead times" at the Norfolk-based company.

"Moate brought some innovative ideas to potato and vegetable farming, including big-capacity folding bed tillers, flail-and-spray haulm toppers and stone buriers," said managing director Richard Pratt.

"But after several successful years, he realised that the business needed serious engineering resources and professional management to progress to the next level. We've already started making shafts, hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic motors for the George Moate machines."

Parts and service provision to customers will also be enhanced, with a larger range of parts being manufactured and stocked at the company's new base near North Walsham. Up to 10 new jobs will be created.

The company's Tillerstar, combining bed tilling and stone separation, is being demonstrated to growers.

PSS will retain Moate's service during a transitional period. "We hope that he will come up with other innovative ideas to expand the equipment range in future," Pratt added.

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