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Classic success for new Dales business

A local classic car enterprise that specialises in the restoration of vehicles is planning for the future, thanks to free business advice.

Also experts in modern accident repair techniques, the Two Dales based Classic Gas Body Shop has benefited from Derbyshire Dales District Council's free business advice service, which unlocked Peak LEADER funding to help launch the firm in January last year.

Partners Craig Lowe and Gary Blackburn contacted the District Council to seek guidance after deciding to build on their skills in specialist restoration and modern accident repair.

Part of the D2N2 LEP Growth Hub, Derbyshire Dales Business Advice provides free face to face support for businesses in the Dales wanting to grow. The service, featuring professional business adviser Heather Bradford, is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the District Council.

Said Craig:

"We were unsure if any advice or funding were available for start-up businesses and Heather was brilliant in helping us access the necessary funding to contribute towards certain specialised equipment such as computerised paint mixing schemes, spot welding setups and a spray gun cleaning machine.”

Craig and Gary spent the first few months transforming a unit at Ladygrove Mill to the right specification, including the installation of a brand new low base spray booth. The business is already doing so well that it's expanding into a second unit - and the partners have now been joined by another employee, Ed Surguy.

Said Gary:

"We quickly found we needed more space for longer term restoration jobs and we're delighted with the way the business is developing. We tackle all modern accident repairs, including insurance work, and the restoration of classic cars, for which we have a huge portfolio. There's clearly a demand for high end body repair, particularly in the classic car sector."

Customers are bringing vehicles from across the UK to the Classic Gas Body Shop, and restoration and paint work is not limited to cars - Craig and Gary have recently completed work on an RV-7 low wing single-engine airplane!

European Regional Development Fund logo

A local classic car enterprise that specialises in the restoration of vehicles is planning for the future, thanks to free business advice.

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