Friday, July 19, 2024
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Banking on nuclear sales

Dave Milling Motorcycles of Whitehaven, West Cumbria, may not be expecting an explosion in sales of nuclear proportions, but the business is hoping for a sales boost thanks to a recruitment drive at the nearby Sellafiield nuclear plant.

Sellafield, Europe’s biggest nuclear facility, is taking on a record number of apprentices this year. Milling hopes that this could be a key factor in the business moving up to becoming a full range Yamaha dealer.

Said Milling’s son Alex (21): “We became a lightweight Yamaha dealer in 2010 and would love to become a full Yamaha dealer. If big bike sales creep up we could justify it.”

The nuclear factor and a long summer could clinch the step-up. Meanwhile 125cc sales provide bedrock business.

Last year DMM sold 150 new and second-hand bikes. The target for 2015 is 200.

DMM has increased profile locally by organising live music nights, an AC/DC tribute band going down particularly well. “We clear the showroom, set up a marquee, and it’s like a nightclub here,” says Alex Milling.

Eleven miles down the road, Sellafield is taking on 200 new apprentices, bringing the total number of apprentices in training up to 500. The plant is the region’s biggest employer with a workforce of 10,000. The site produced its first nuclear power in 1950 and today employs almost half the total nuclear workforce in the UK. 

DMM started in 1997 selling second-hand machines, became an Aprilia agent in 2004 and expanded in car MoT and service. Clare Dawson is the bike mechanic and administrator working with Steve Todd who also does car MoTs. Dave Hurst is the main car man. Manx GP Newcomers race winner in 2013 (Yamaha R6) Chris Dixon, inspired by Dave Milling’s racing exploits, helps in the bike showroom on Fridays and Saturdays.


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