MORE than £2 million in finance has been secured by North Yorkshire vehicle engineering firm Twisted as it moves towards its final production run of Land Rover Defenders.

The Thirsk-based business, who’s customers include Jamie Oliver and royalty from around the world, has been awarded a £2.3 million funding package from Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance.

The sum will be used to refinance the remainder of the 240 vehicles purchased from Jaguar Land Rover as part of the Defender’s final production run.

Twisted Automotive specialises in re-engineering new and used Land Rover Defenders with its 23-strong team both restoring and building vehicles.

Founded in 2000, Twisted initially ran as a side operation offering tuning and performance enhancements on a range of Land Rover models. With demand for precision engineering on the rise, the business has witnessed strong levels of growth in the last three years, with a current turnover of £8.25 million.

Charles Fawcett, founder of Twisted Automotive, said: “My passion for the Defender derived from my father, who has been involved in the repair and restoration of the vehicles since the 1970’s.

“The Defender has generated a strong cult following over its 33 years, with as many as 75 per cent still functional today.

“With time running out on production, in 2015 we spotted a unique opportunity to increase our inventory and introduce pre-built versions of our vehicles, which helped us tackle the long waiting list and boost our revenues.

“With this new financial strength, we can look at expanding overseas and ready ourselves for a potential launch of a new Defender model in 2019.”

To tackle the high demand and extended waiting list, Twisted recently launched its Classic Series, which consists of donor vehicles that are built to a certain level of specification and are ready to purchase instantly. From the original 20 Classic vehicles produced, 19 have already sold, leading on to the creation of Series II.

John Gribbon, regional director for Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance, said: “Twisted Automotive’s business model is founded on igniting the passion of petrol heads around the world, restoring and upgrading one of the most iconic vehicles ever produced.

“This specialist knowledge means that its engineers know the vehicles like the back of their hands, building a long-lasting connection with their creations.”