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Sir Tom Farmer's back – as a start-up supporter

Sir Tom Farmer is to return to the automotive industry – but not as a fast-fit repairer of quality marques as suggested in the national media. He intends to put his considerable financial weight behind new entrepreneurs in a bid to recreate the success he enjoyed when setting up his first tyre retail outlet in the 1960s.

“There are lots of opportunities across the motor industry for someone who gets the service right. I intend to give young people the chance to set up in the industry by providing them with the finance to start up a business,” says Farmer.

He retained many of the freeholds when he sold the Kwik-Fit network, which stretched across Western Europe, to Ford in 1999 for £1bn. Farmer also took back tenancy on four Scottish sites in May – Dunfermline, Bathgate, and two in Edinburgh – sparking the industry gossip that he was planning a return to the repair sector.

Each entrepreneur will be given financial backing and a stake in the business, possibly about 10 per cent. Farmer believes this will drive them harder to ensure the company succeeds.

“If it's their business, they will have the self-motivation to work harder,” he says. “But I intend to be very much on the sidelines.”

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