Marc Peasgood and Ashley Knowles set up Volkstech Limited, VW and Skoda specialist in Rotherham after being made redundant last year from a dealership. Marc tells unLTD how help from Launchpad is helping them steer and grow their business

Tell us about your company?

Ashley Knowles and I have opened an VW, Audi Skoda and SEAT specialist on the Aven industrial estate in Maltby, Rotherham. We both originally worked at VW Rotherham, Ash was master technician there for over 15 years and I held roles as workshop controller for six years and then promoted to service manager for the last two) before the sudden closure in May.

Our USP is both Ashley’s vast product knowledge and our dealer standard diagnostic equipment – we are the only independent in South Yorkshire with this, to our knowledge – which allows us to perform work others can’t at a fraction of dealer repair costs.

We carry out servicing diagnostic, air conditioning, DSG specialist, cambelts and more and also offer a free collection and delivery service with every vehicle vacuumed and sanitised before returned.

When did you first decide to start up on your own and what inspired you?

This decision was brought on by our sudden redundancy notice at VW Rotherham in early May and after a month or so of discussions we decided to make the move. We decided to stay as local to the old site at Wickersley as possible due to the customer base in the S66 area.

How has Launchpad helped you?

We found Launchpad while searching the web for grants and support and help for new businesses. They have helped us with some great coaching lessons via Zoom around areas such as marketing, social media and free legal advice.

What are your hopes and aims for the business?

We have now been going for three months and going from strength to strength as word of mouth circulates the S66 area. Our next aim is to install an MOT ramp and employ a tester as we currently sublet to a local MOT station. Longer term we would hopefully look to grow from our 2/3 ramp size garage to around 5 and employ another technician and apprentice.

Launchpad advisor Julia Millea said:

“Marc has worked in the motor industry for many years and offers excellent customer service to all his clients. We wish him every success in the future and know that this will be a great business to have here in South Yorkshire, convenient for customers and for them to know that they will be well looked after with Marc and the team.”

“Starting and growing a business is not easy and that’s why the Launchpad programme was created.  Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and our partners means there is no cost to the entrepreneur, so we can get straight to work on turning those dreams into reality.

“Stop dreaming and do it. Contact us for information now on 03330 00 00 39 or email growthhub@sheffieldcityregion.org.uk.”