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Brandon: Garage saved from closure as 25th birthday approaches

A popular garage will turn 25 under new ownership after a buyout saved it from closure.

Longstanding SWM Motors in Brandon has become C&D Motors and Servicing after being taken on by C&D Windscreens.

Co-owner David Bunn said: “It all happened very fast, it was just a few weeks from an idea we had to us taking over.”

Chris Pinkney and David Bunn outside C&D Motor Services in Brandon which they have taken overPicture by Mark Westley
Chris Pinkney and David Bunn outside C&D Motor Services in Brandon which they have taken overPicture by Mark Westley

Mr Bunn and business partner Chris Pinkney were already familiar with SWM and its owner Stephen Martin from fitting windscreens at the garage.

“We always knew how busy it was and there is a large customer base,” said Mr Bunn.

The deal represents a step forward for C&D, who until now have been entirely focused on a windscreen operation from their base in Rushford Estate in Thetford. The new owners are looking to establish the garage in Wimbledon Avenue as their hub for windscreens as well as continuing what the garage already offers customers.

Mr Bunn said: “We want a seamless transition, we want it to flow and be the same for customers. We want the customers to have the same value and we are going to take what Steve has done and build on it.

“It is going to be slightly different. The garage had been doing car rentals as well, but we are going to move the windscreen business to Brandon and combine the two businesses under one roof.”

Mr Bunn described the garage side of the operation as a ‘complete new ball game,’ for himself and his business partner. Stephen Martin is staying for the time being and helping the new owners settle in by ‘showing them the ropes’.

The new owners are hoping to hire back some of the eight staff who were made redundant from the former SWM to meet the needs of an estimated 5,000-strong client base.

The takeover will ensure the continuation of the garage, which went into administration on May 15 – exactly 25 years after Mr Martin founded it. And already back at work is Adam Sharples, who had been working at the garage for 18 years.

Mr Bunn said: “The pandemic led to the drop off, but customers are now beginning to come back. We are getting more calls every day and I am hoping that we are starting to get back to normality.

“We knew there would be great potential and it seemed the right opportunity to expand our business.

“It is really exciting and we are hoping to hit the ground running.”

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