Collings Brothers ceases trading with immediate effect 

Cambridgeshire dealer Collings Brothers said the current economic climate has put the business under significant pressure, forcing its closure.

pictures of tractors outside Collings depot at open day in march
Collings Brothers recently held an open day on 20th March.

Collings Brothers has announced it ceased trading with immediate effect on Thursday (28th March), as the economic situation and staff shortages made it “impossible to continue”. 

The business, which recently hosted an open day at its depot in St Neots on 20th March, said it will finish jobs that are currently underway but cannot take on any new workshop jobs. 

Meanwhile, jobs that have been booked in but not started will not be completed. 

Collings stressed that the company is solvent and its staff will be supported. 

In a statement, the company explained: “The current economic situation has put a lot of pressure on the business with high stocking charges, a reduction of sales due to the state of the market and together with staff shortages has made it impossible to continue.”

Collings thanked its customers for their support but said a franchise change and covid had also put pressure on the business. “[…] We have tried to fight through this difficult period against the odds but unfortunately the economic situation has just been too much […].” 

Long-established business

Collings has worked in the agricultural engineering industry since it was established in 1930.  

Its depot is centrally based to cover its trading area of Brigstock, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and the surrounding area.  

The company provides services to the agricultural, groundcare and horticultural sectors. Some of its main franchises include Deutz Fahr, Kuhn, Merlo, Claydon and Kioti. 

Shrinking customer base

Many farmers expressed dismay on news of the closure, which comes just weeks after the closure of Suffolk Agri Centre.

Commenting on farming forums, Mark C said: ‘Such a shame that a very long established dealer has gone like this. […] They have a very loyal customer base, just not enough of them now.’

Another user said: ‘They seemed to retain a lot of loyalty and to have sold a good few tractors and even a combine or two, but it looks like it will be a tough year for all dealers, and especially the smaller ones selling smaller brands.’

Robt added: ‘They were once the biggest case quadtrac dealer. Very very sad. Jason and the team there did a good job.’

The news also prompted debate on the challenges facing the smaller local dealers – not least the shrinking customer base due to financial pressures on farms.

Alistair Nelson wrote on a farming forum: ‘This desperately sad like Suffolk Ag and sadly I suspect it is the thin edge of the wedge. The interest on the stocking plans for new kit and the interest on the money laid out on s/h kit that is simply not moving, along with the depreciation on it is killing dealers.’

Farmers also questioned the impact of government schemes that focus on environmental land management, which could reduce demand for farm machinery if land is taken out of food production.

Commenting on the Sustainable Farming Scheme in Wales, one farmer said: ‘In Wales they are aiming to convert 20% of every farm to trees and scrubland. That’s compulsory to get the King’s Shilling as far as we know so far. Almost all upland beef and sheep farms are likely to take it up, around 50 to 60% of marginal lowland mixed farms and no more than 10% who stay with dairy. 

‘I cannot fathom why they want this for all farms, which will make most commercial enterprises totally unviable, thus relying on any pittance from the scheme to live on.’

Local dealers for support for SDF, Merlo and Kuhn are:  

  • For SDF support: 01788 432435 
  • Merlo local dealers – Marst Agri: 01473 455205, R C Boreham & Co: 01245 231320 or George Browns: 01525 372062 
  • Kuhn sales & support: Ben Burgess: 01480 890990, R C Boreham & Co: 01245 231320. 

Queries regarding the solvent winding up of Collings Brothers should be addressed to:

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