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Bodyshop: DWS buys Weybridge workshop

DWS Bodyworks has bought a Stratstone Jaguar workshop in Weybridge for an undisclosed sum. It will be split into two and named DWS Weybridge and DWS Brooklands.

The latter will operate as a dedicated centre for RSA.

The 28,000 sq ft facility is already trading on a small scale. Refurbishment will be complete by November.

DWS Weybridge and Brooklands will bring the group’s turnover to £35 million, putting it close to second place in the AM50 bodyshop ranking.

Stephen Field, DWS group managing director, said: “The site is ideal for its locality.”

All 17 Stratstone staff have been kept on, although Field will extend the workforce to 55.

Field is now looking to “close the final segment of the M25” and cited Heathrow airport as a key area.

DWS Bodyworks has already made two acquisitions this year – Supreme Bodyworks in Basildon in January and JD Automotive in Dartford in April.

It has also opened a central call centre at Basildon.

“The call centre has taken pressure off our sites and gives us much tighter control,” Field said.

An operation in central London was due to open in February, but the site fell through. He still aims to open a facility when he finds a suitable location.

The plan will be for customers to drop off their car and it will then be taken to the relevant centre for repair.

The new split site echoes DWS Thurrock and DWS Grays which run alongside each other, with Grays dedicated to Direct Line work.

DWS Bodywork now has 11 sites. Its target is 14 sites in the next five years.

Field said: “The acquisition has enabled DWS to continue its strategic growth plan.

“It places the company well on it way to being the London solution for insurance companies to procure vehicle repairs inside the M25.”

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