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Fix Auto network's first purpose-built repair centre opens in Leeds

Fix Auto Leeds North developed by Sam (left) and Stephen Smith (second left), pictured alongside bodyshop manager Stephen Woodward and assistant manager Richard Jones (right)

Fix Auto has seen the opening of its network’s purpose-built repair centre with the opening of a new location in Leeds.

This week saw vehicles rolled into the multi-million-pound, 14,500sq-ft development created by owners, Sam and Stephen Smith.

The flagship repair centre is positioned close to the city’s main arterial road network and adds to existing Fix Auto sites in Keighley, Bradford, and the opposite side of the city of Leeds.

Fix Auto UK announced plans to develop the site in May 2019

Sam Smith said: “It’s been a long and testing road to get here, but to say this is a proud moment, not just for ourselves and the entire team around us, but for the entire Fix Auto UK network, is an understatement.

“The level of support and commitment we have received has been inspiring, particularly because of the unavoidable issues we have faced brought on by the pandemic.

“We had initially hoped the site would be fully operational by mid-September but that slipped back to November because of the delays brought on by coronavirus.

“Problems surrounding the supply of utilities which were beyond our control then pushed the project further back in November, but I’m pleased to say we are finally now fully operational.”

Ian Pugh, managing director at Fix Auto UK, said: “While we have celebrated many major investments by our franchise partners over the years, building a repair centre from scratch is significant milestone and is something that the entire industry needs to celebrate particularly during these uncertain times.”

In December 2020, the Fix Auto Dagenham business acquired neighbouring Fix Auto Hainault

With a site already established in the city, Sam Smith explained the rationale behind the development, he said: “Soon after we opened our first site in Leeds five years ago it became apparent that unit would not accommodate our ambitions and growth so we immediately started looking for an alternative.

Fix Auto UK also formed a partnership with Trustpilot last year, to help 'instil confidence and credibility’ in the service provided by its franchise partners.

“We found this site but as we needed to maintain the growth in the business, we moved into a temporary building in May 2019.

“The new development is in a perfect central location with superb road infrastructure and plenty of space enabling us to develop the building to our own specifications with room to park and store up to 70 vehicles.”

The site in Viaduct Road once housed the city’s gas holder before it was demolished in 1932 with the site remaining practically untouched ever since, said Fit Auto UK.

Sam Smith said: “As you can imagine, for a site that dates to the Victorian era and one that had not been touched since before the war, there was an awful lot of ground works to be carried out.

“Our first challenge was to ensure all was safe from harmful substances and there was also the small task of shoring up the remnants of the old gas tower that was effectively a giant hole sunk 18 metres below the surface. It was all worth it when you look at where we are today.”

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