History

Co Tops spent the first seven years of its life in economical rented industrial accommodation within a section of the old Bedford Lorry Factory situated off Boscombe Rd in Dunstable. Ikea was also using over one million square feet of the storage available before the site was finally closed down. The factory complex had been built over the years 1955 to 1957. Two double storied buildings each of 800,000 square feet that covered some 46 acres remained in existence up until 2005 when they too were demolished. The original site was even larger covering 98 acres when production of Bedford trucks was in full flow.

The production lines we are told stretched for over one mile and 5,500 people were employed. Production of Bedford trucks ended 1987 when David Brown bought the site from General Motors, renamed the trucks as AWD trucks (All Wheel Drive) Unfortunately the business declined as almost immediately the all important MOD contracts were lost and the last AWD Bedford truck was produced in 1992.

The company then fell into receivers hands, who still owned the site when Co Tops Ltd moved there in December 1995.

At that time many of the original buildings had already been knocked down and redeveloped. So far a Sainsbury's supermarket complex, a McDonalds, a garage and a tyre fitting company have located at the Dunstable Road end. In 1997 more single storey buildings were demolished and a new retail park was built North of the Sainsbury's Supermarket, this now includes a Staples, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the usual electrical and furniture outlets.

The old Commer lorry factory used to be over the other side of Boscombe Road, so you can imagine that Dunstable was a quite important industrial area.

Today Renault have their UK lorry operation located off Boscombe Rd and there is a very large logistical warehouse complex there too operated by Christian Salveson delivering goods just in time to Izuzu Bedford Corporation. This area to is soon up for redevelopment.

Whitbread, W H Smith are two other well know locally located names. Dunstable still has many service companies supplying the motor trade.

Trimoco, A.C.Delco, Dunstable Rubber Company are some of the other motor industry companies who operate out of Dunstable. Next door in Luton of course Vauxhall was the big name.