Hundreds of jobs are to be created across the North West after an independent accident repair group opened a large facility in Manchester.
HB Accident Repair Network has been incorporated by three former directors of fellow repair firm Howard Basford.
The firm opened its first body shop site – a 23,000sq ft facility in Swinton this week, where it has created 45 jobs, with plans to create more than 200 in the North West over the next three years.
After a five-year interlude, original company chairman Tracy Howard, finance director Nick Orr and operations director Martin Isaac have said they have reassembled after spotting a gap in the current market.
The trio plan to demonstrate their commitment to the region by expanding the HB Accident Repair Network to five sites over the next three years – and will focus on building the business in the North West.
Tracy Howard, chairman of HB Accident Repair Network said: “We see a great opportunity in the North West market to provide choice for our customers, and as an original team of directors and huge ambassadors of the industry, it’s our intention to continually evolve the market proposition.
“It’s our vision to be recognised as the leading accident repair network in terms of service, quality, innovation and respect for the environment. All being delivered through a skilled and professional team”
The original business grew to become Britain’s largest privately owned and highly regarded industry leading accident repair group, with sites at Manchester, Stockport, Crewe and Warrington, and a turnover of £20m before it was sold in 2014.
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The new team brings “a wealth of experience and market knowledge” to the region, and plans to pick up where they left off.
Ms Howard added: “We are overwhelmed with the early support we are receiving from all areas of the industry, and we have already secured several key relationships with like minded organisations that share our vision. Our ambition is to continue to invest in the Northwest with the right sites, the right technology and the right people.”