Cambs firm specialising in waste disposal sold to Spanish conglomerate in �48.6 million deal

A CAMBRIDGESHIRE firm that began life as a haulage contractor in 1925 today celebrated its sale for nearly �50 million to a Spanish conglomerate.

A CAMBRIDGESHIRE firm that began life as a haulage contractor in 1925 today celebrated its sale for nearly �50 million to a Spanish conglomerate.

AmeyCespa has bought out waste contractor Donarbon of Waterbeach in a deal that gives the Spanish owned waste company its first on the ground foothold in the UK.

Donarbon is currently delivering a 28 year waste management PFI contract in Cambridgeshire with Cambridgeshire County Council, worth �730 million. The company has waste treatment facilities in Cambridgeshire and a landfill operation.

It also operates a further two transfer stations, nine household waste recycling centres and other industrial and commercial services in the region.

AmeyCespa will now work closely with Donarbon’s management team and Cambridgeshire County Council to manage and treat residential and industrial waste across the county

Mark Davenport, a Director at the Donarbon Group, who will transfer to AmeyCespa and run the business said: “AmeyCespa will bring a wealth of waste management experience and best practice to Cambridgeshire.

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“I look forward to working with everyone at AmeyCespa, as it’s not only excellent news for the development of our employees but for the region as a whole.”

Mr Davenport is the son of in law of the late John Dickerson, who died in 199 and was himself the son of the company’s founder Maurice Dickerson.

Maurice Dickerson began operating as a haulage contractor in 1925 and in 1937 he founded M Dickerson Ltd.

The company initially operated from premises in Gloucester Street, Cambridge, now part of the Castle Park complex, behind Shire Hall.

In the late 1930s some of his main contracts were for the Government, hauling materials for airfield construction. During the war, the company was kept busy carrying bombs and munitions from the Midlands to the East Anglian docks.

By the end of the war, the company fleet of 5-ton lorries had increased from 10 to 32. In 1948, the present site at Waterbeach (off the A10, north of Cambridge) was bought for the extraction of sand and gravel. During this time the company also operated a petrol station, car sales and vehicle recovery service from Teversham Corner Garage on Newmarket Road.

In 1960 Maurice Dickerson retired and handed over the reins to his son John.

The company continued to grow and in 1964 moved from Gloucester Street to a new three acre site at King’s Hedges Road in Cambridge.

During the 1960s and 70s the company demolished the majority of East Anglia’s disused airfields and produced a recycled material which was used in road building. Concrete from the perimeter of Wattisham airfield, for example, was used to build the Ipswich by-pass and bridge over the River Orwell.

In 1969 Donarbon Ltd was formed as a skip hire business and to landfill the void that was left by the mineral extraction at Waterbeach.

The company quickly outgrew the site at Kings Hedges Road and in 1970 they moved to the present headquarters on the Waterbeach site. Frimstone Ltd was bought in 1975 to operate sites to serve the Norfolk market.

In June, AmeyCespa was named preferred bidder for the North Yorkshire County Council & City of York Council residual waste PFI. The company has proposed plans to build a waste recycling and energy recovery facility named Allerton Waste Recovery Park, which will deliver a more environmentally responsible and cost effective solution for waste management in the two areas.

In addition, AmeyCespa is shortlisted for the Norfolk Waste PFI – a 25 year contract to treat 100% of Norfolk’s contract waste.

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