Rangemaster in Leamington celebrated a magnificent milestone when its one millionth range cooker rolled off the production line on Wednesday.
Dignitaries, customers, suppliers and former employees gathered at the manufacturer’s factory in Clarence Street to see the golden Nexus 90 and to see the cutting of a special commemorative cake
Rangemaster has been making cookers in Leamington for more then 185 years having started in 1830.
The brand is now part of Britain’s industrial heritage of innovation and design.
Over the past five years shareholders have invested £8 million in the factory and product, creating a new state-of the-art design and production centre, reaffirming its market leading position and commitment to British manufacturing and support for the town’s economy.
Employment in the factory today is 11 per cent higher than five years ago - with a team of 500.
William McGrath, chief executive of the AGA Rangemaster Group said: “Rangemaster cookers are built from experience. Experience gained since the first Kitchener was made here in 1830 by Sidney Flavel in the Eagle foundry – the same place that a new modern generation of range cookers was introduced in 1995.
“Rangemaster’s modern range cooker immediately captured the public imagination and has become the nation’s favourite range cooker brand.
“Today , our millionth range cooker has proudly been made here in Leamington, from where modern cooking began in 1830.
“Our momentum continues domestically and overseas in Europe, North America, Australia and China accelerating our journey to two million cookers.”
“Thanks a million – to our customers, our suppliers and our manufacturing team.”
The day also marked the opening of Rangemaster’s new training academy and showroom where the sales teams of Rangemaster’s customers will come to gain product knowledge and experience Rangemaster cooking.
It showcases the brand’s product breadth.
From the modern style of the Nexus to the continental design of the Elise, Rangemaster’s product range has grown over the years with new designs, sizes, fuel options and colours to cater for changing consumer needs.
In his speech during the unveiling of the one millionth cooker, Mr McGrath outlined the rich history of Rangemaster and its predecessor Flavels.
He described how Sidney Flavel’s creation, the Kithchener won a gold medal at the Great Exhibition of 1851 - a medal which was presented to Mr Flavel by Prince Albert and remains in the company’s historical collection.
Mr Flavel served as Leamington mayor six times.
Mr McGrath also praised former director Geoff Harrop, who helped to “redefine” the company by coming up with the Rangemaster name.
The chief executive said: “It was so brilliant it was adopted by the board with no focus group and no consultancy at all”.
All of the cookers made on Wednesday had a golden ticket attached to them so that when the product finds its home the customer will have the chance to win a wide range of prizes.