Northampton is home to a brand-new commercial vehicle accident repair centre, opened this week by C&C Vehicle Services to support a surge in demand for workshop capacity – fuelled by the booming home delivery market and increasing numbers of vans on our roads.
The latest Department for Transport statistics for the period ending 30 September 2020 show 4.34 million light goods vehicles (defined as four-wheel vehicles constructed for transporting goods, with a gross weight of 3.5 tonnes or less) were licensed in the UK, versus 4.26m, 4.13m and 4.03m at the same time in 2019, 2018 and 2017 respectively.
The new 8,000 ft² site on the Lodge Farm Industrial Estate becomes the third new branch to be opened by the company in the last three years and will create up to 10 new local jobs, with plans to expand the team further as demand continues to grow.
C&C Vehicle Services has invested more than £100,000 to equip the site with 12 working areas to handle everything from minor repairs to major accident damage.
On-site facilities include two spray booths, specialist jigs for chassis realignment, calibration equipment and vehicle ramps. It also offers an electric vehicle charging point, as well as the specialist equipment required to carry out repairs on electric vans – expected to become increasingly popular as businesses focus on reducing carbon emissions.
Mark Newnes, Managing Director of C&C Vehicle Services, says: “Opening our doors in Northampton is a key step in our plans to build a truly national network. We’ve always said we’ll look seriously at opportunities to expand in the places where customers need us most, and Northampton was geographically the perfect fit.
“Despite all the challenges thrown up by the pandemic, it’s been a real team effort to get the site ready to open on time. We’ve recruited fantastic new members of staff, got a great new facility set up just the way we like it, and customers booked in from day one. We’re very excited to get our fourth site up and running.”
The new facility follows the opening of a similar size branch in Chesterfield in summer 2019, with both locations supported by larger operations in Oldham and Wolverhampton.
Northampton and Chesterfield are predominantly focused on light commercial vehicle and truck repairs, with larger assets such as buses, coaches and trailers typically being transferred to one of the larger hub facilities.
Located close to junction 15A of the M1, the Northampton site is being run by Chris Johnston, General Manager, who has more than 30 years’ experience of running vehicle bodyshops.
Mark Newnes adds: “The demand from customers right now is huge. Home delivery operations are under immense pressure, and fleets want accident-damaged vans turned around in double quick time. I’ve never known a time like it in the industry; Northampton is coming on stream for us at the perfect moment.”
The new site will be open from 7am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday, with Saturday opening as required in the first instance, and extended opening times as the site develops.
The address is: 2 Rye Hill Close, Lodge Farm Industrial Estate, Northampton NN5 7UA