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Award for Kwik Fit founder Sir Tom Farmer

Kwik Fit founder Sir Tom Farmer has been selected to receive the Edinburgh Award from the city.

The 75-year-old businessman, who founded the fast-fit chain Kwik Fit in Edinburgh in 1971, is a regular supporter of charities and community work in the capital.

His handprints will be immortalised on a flagstone in the City Chambers quadrangle alongside those of previous recipients Sir Chris Hoy, Ian Rankin, JK Rowling, George Kerr, Professor Peter Higgs, Elizabeth Blackadder, Professor Richard Demarco and Tom Gilzean.

He will also receive an engraved loving cup from the city's Lord Provost at a ceremony in the City Chambers in early 2016, reports the Daily Record.

Farmer's first job at the age of 15 was as a stores boy with a tyre company. In 1964 he started his first business, Tyre and Accessory Supplies, in Edinburgh. Within four years he had a small chain of outlets, which he then sold to Albany Tyres Services.

A brief attempt at early retirement in San Francisco provided the inspiration for the launch of what was to become Kwik-Fit when he returned to Scotland in 1971.

As the business grew, Farmer ensured that he and his managers remained in touch with daily operations and their customers by a company rule that all staff were to spend one week a year fitting tyres and exhausts in a depot.

In 1999 Farmer sold Kwik-Fit to Ford Motor Company for £1bn, although its ownership has changed several times since.

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