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Drayton Group seeks approval for £3m Mercedes centre

The Drayton Group has announced plans for a new £3 million car dealership in Shrewsbury, creating 15 jobs.

The Mercedes-Benz dealership would be built on land next to the Rural Enterprise Centre, on Stafford Drive.

The two-storey new building will include a ground floor showroom, offices, parts store, customer lounge, reception, workshop, MoT centre, and 110 car parking spaces for staff and customers.

If Shropshire Council grants planning permission 45 existing staff will have their jobs at the current site on Battlefield Road safeguarded.

It will also create 15 new full-time jobs and a number of apprentice posts, bosses confirmed. There is no change of ownership or management involved.

The dealer group operates seven dealerships, mainly Mercedes-Benz, but also Smart, Chrysler and Jeep. The proposal has been submitted by Warwick Holdings Ltd, owner of Meteor Group, which uses the Drayton name for its Mercedes' businesses.

Bosses said that the lease on the Battlefield Road base expires in 2014 and admitted the layout was ‘poor’ and expensive to run, with old buildings and two separate showrooms.

Gareth Jones, for agents Tyler Parkes Planning and Architecture, said in a report: "It cannot be over-emphasised that this is a business-critical step for the business to retain the Mercedes-Benz franchise for Shrewsbury. Indeed, the future of Mercedes-Benz in the town depends upon the success of this planning application.

"This will represent a very substantial investment of over £3m by Warwick Holdings in the future of the Shrewsbury business, offering continued and expanding employment prospects and contribution to the local economy."

Drayton has held the Mercedes franchise in Shrewsbury since 1984, relocating to the present leasehold site in 1989. It forms part of the group's market area in the Midlands.

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