A Preston business has crafted a partnership with an Eaves-based furniture maker in a deal worth £100,000.

Volkswagen Van Centre Lancashire has secured the contract to supply The Odd Chair Company with a fleet of Crafter vans to transport its bespoke furniture from its Lancashire workshop to customers nationwide.

James Cook, owner of The Odd Chair Company, believes the brand’s reliability, build quality and the vehicles’ appearances echoed the image of his own company.

He said: “Craftsmanship is key to the success of our 45-year-old family business. We hand craft every element of our furniture from tree to finished item and supply to an exclusive selection of retailers as well as creating custom–made bespoke pieces.

“The Crafter reflects the qualities of our business, providing excellent value without compromising on performances and its spacious interior enables us to safely transport larger pieces of furniture.”

Earlier this year James won a national competition, in conjunction with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and The Times newspaper, to receive one-to-one business mentoring from former Dragon’s Den investor and Yo! Sushi founder, Simon Woodroffe.

James added: “I was looking at changing my fleet so visited the Preston van centre. I was really impressed with the Crafter model, noticed the competition and thought ‘why not?’.

“As part of my entry I had to submit a video and deliver a business pitch to a panel of experts. I was delighted to be one of the five winners. Simon is assisting me on how I can effectively raise the company’s profile and reputation in a very competitive market place.

Paul Hoinville, head of business at Volkswagen Van Centre Lancashire, said: “The spacious Crafter vans provide excellent payloads making it a good choice for transporting large pieces of furniture.  We will be providing the fleet of Crafters to James as part of a vehicle replacement programme.

“We were delighted to hear about The Odd Chair Company’s success in the national competition. It’s great to see one of our valued customers benefiting from this business mentoring partnership and we look forward to continuing to build on our own relationship with James in the future.”