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Lane change for well-known York garage as it moves to new ownership

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Lane change for well-known York garage as it moves to new ownership

A well-known York garage is set for expansion after being acquired by one of its technicians and his aunt and uncle, in a deal advised by Harrowells.

Additional investment will be put into Garage Services (York) Limited, The Raylor Centre, James Street, after its acquisition by technician, Liam Robertson, a director, with his aunt and uncle, Frank and Jane McNeill for an significant but undisclosed sum.

A new tyre fitting bay and other technology to enhance efficiency are planned by the new owners along with rebranding in the hope of growing the business and creating new jobs, at the garage acquired from owner-directors, David Cornish, his younger brother, Simon and wife Donna, who all worked in the business and are retiring together.

Frank McNeill, who previously owned and ran New Lane Motors, York, before becoming a Leeds firefighter 25 years ago, says: “Liam has worked at Garage Services for three years and, due to my previous career, Jane and I decided to join him and start a new venture.

“Liam is thrilled and it is a true family transaction as his fiancée, Rachel, is David Cornish’s niece. Jane and I will handle business development, including promoting our MOT capability and new investments, while I’m looking forward to putting my overalls back on and helping Liam on days off from the fire service.

“Matt Rowley at Harrowells has been great, always keeping us up to date with progress and explaining every stage. Acquisitions like this are never straightforward but Matt has been very professional and has made it as pain-free as possible.“

Garage Services was founded in 1992 when the original team of mechanics was made redundant by the Ministry of Defence in York.

Today the business, which has five staff staff and an annual turnover of around £500,000, provides servicing and MOTs, including for the growing market for electric and hybrid electric vehicles.

As well as more than 100 regular private customers, Garage Services looks after more than 25 local business vehicle fleets including Yorkshire Water, Drain UK, ADS, and works on more than 1,300 vehicles each year.

David Cornish, who is staying for a handover period to help with training and provide continuity for customers, says: “This is a great opportunity for a younger, energetic management team with up-to-date ideas and a grounded engineering background. We are handing over a solid platform and the sky’s the limit for them. I wish them, and our mutual customers, well.”

Harrowells commercial solicitor, Matt Rowley, who acted for the buyers, says: “It has been a pleasure to support a deal that is so beneficial to all parties, allowing the  former owners to retire and the transfer of ownership of their long-standing business to a loyal member of staff in Liam Robertson and the McNeills who they can trust to continue David Cornish’s legacy.”

Photo: pictured (L to R) outside Garage Services (York) Ltd are Harrowells commercial solicitor, Matthew Rowley; new joint owners, Jane McNeill and Liam Robertson; founder of the business, David Cornish and new joint owner, Frank McNeill.

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