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Dean regains ownership of Ascendant Access

Steve Dean has acquired Redwood Engineering, the owner of UK based aerial lift manufacturer Ascendant Access, from the Facelift group.

Ascendant manufactures a range of truck and van mounted access platforms under the Ascendant brand in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear.

Ascendant Access ran into funding difficulties during the recession and had been supported by Facelift for a period prior to its formation of the Redwood Engineering subsidiary in 2013, in order to acquire the Ascendant business from the administrator.

Facelift has a large number of Ascendant platforms in its rental fleet but has now decided to re-focus on its core rental business and dispose of the Redwood design and manufacturing business. Dean has therefore acquired all of the shares in the company for an undisclosed sum.

Steve Dean founded Ascendant Access in 2003 and has designed all of the
Ascendant platforms. Following the acquisition of his company by Facelift in 2013 he continued to manage the engineering and production side of the company from Gateshead, while financial control was handled from Facelift headquarters in Hickstead, Surrey. Ascendant will continue to manufacture its products in Gateshead with the existing work force, as well as providing full support to all owners of Ascendant products. See Ascendant to restructure
Redwood Engineering has retained all assets and liabilities of the access platform manufacturing business while ownership of intellectual property for non-access related products has been transferred to Facelift.
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Steve Dean (L) and Ascendant’s production manager Jim Ivers with a 22m tractor mounted lift and a Takeuchi chassis for an 18m platform

Dean said: “I am delighted to regain ownership and full control of the Ascendant manufacturing business. We have many loyal customers and well-regarded products which offer exceptional value, especially in the current economic climate. The workforce and supplier base have been incredibly supportive and we want to repay their loyalty by rebuilding a strong and sustainable manufacturing base here in the North East”

“We look forward now to focus on providing and supporting our quality vehicle mounted access platforms and rebuilding strong relationships with both customers and suppliers”.
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A 26 metre Ascendant boom lift on a 7.5 tonne chassis

Cranes & Access visited the Ascendant plant in Gateshead back in 2009, click here to see that report

Vertikal Comment

This is no surprise, the Ascendant business has been struggling for some time, with its future less than certain. This move is almost certainly a positive one for both Steve Dean, the Ascendant workforce, suppliers and customer base not to mention Facelift, which while rescuing the Ascendant business can now get back to building its core rental business.

Ascendant has had a rocky path since it started, its products have always been appreciated and have a decent reputation among those who run them. Steve Dean is also an excellent engineer and knows how to design a good machine. The problem has always been financial management and resources to expand.

Hopefully this will be third time lucky. With the vehicle mounted market relatively buoyant and the current post Brexit exchange rates providing some short term benefits for UK based manufacturers this could be a good time to ‘re-launch’ the business to a wider customer base and consider exports again.

Let’s hope so.


It's good to see Steve Dean back in the driving seat of the company he created.

Nov 21, 2016

Mike Smith
Fantastic news to see that the UK is still building quality access equipment and has remained under UK ownership. These are a great machine for use on telecom installations on monopoles and extremely reliable

Nov 21, 2016
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