Just months after fire engulfed Bennetts Accident Repair Centre on North Lynn Industrial Estate, the future of the business has been secured with a takeover and new jobs are on the horizon.
All ten staff have been retained and a new purpose-built work unit has been installed at 52 Bergen Way, formerly occupied by the Norfolk Sofa Factory, following the acquisition of the Marriott Motor Group bodyshop business by East Bilney Coachworks.
In November, 20 vehicles were damaged in a blaze which took hold at the repair centre in Hamburg Way and neighbouring homes had to be evacuated.
East Bilney Coachworks currently owns four bodyshops in Norfolk which are at East Bilney, Norwich South, Norwich North and Great Yarmouth. It also has an Express Repair Solution Centre in Norwich with a second due to follow in the near future.
The business has around 125 staff repairing cars and light commercial vehicles for all major insurance companies, motor manufacturers and other customers.
Mark Baldwin, director of East Bilney Coachworks, confirmed that recruitment was also on the cards. He said: “We are looking to take on a minimum of six new full-time employees in office, driving and workshop roles.
“We are delighted with the conclusion of this purchase giving us the opportunity to work with the Marriott Motor Group.
“The acquisition will also further strengthen our current manufacturers’ Approval relationship with Audi and Volkswagen.
“We are all looking forward to working with the existing highly trained staff from this highly regarded company. Opening a site in King’s Lynn ticks one of the boxes in our long-term strategic business plan, strengthening our offering to all our valued work partners and customers.
“With seven sites in Norfolk, including our two Express Repair solution centres, we truly can give a cost effective ‘repairer round the corner’ solution to all our work partners and customers.”
Paul Barnard managing director of the Marriott Motor Group said: “We are also delighted to have agreed the sale of our King’s Lynn Bodyshop to East Bilney Coachworks who will continue to employ all staff at the site.
“Their strategically placed bodyshops will help serve our Volkswagen and Audi dealerships and their customers across Norfolk.
“I would like to thank all the staff for all their hard work and support over the years and wish East Bilney Coachworks every success with their latest acquisition.”