Former MG Rover Panel Beater’s Business Thriving

Former Longbridge worker Tony Dudley has laid solid new foundations for his garage business – by building an MOT bay himself.

The former MG Rover panel beater spent five days helping lay down a total of 27 tons of concrete to mark the latest key milestone in the history of Northfield-based MGR Services.

And Northfield Labour MP Richard Burden drove along his prized MGZT as the first car to undergo an MOT at the popular garage, less than a mile from the former home of MG Rover.

Tony lost his job at Longbridge after 15 years of service when MG Rover collapsed in April 2005 – and risked everything by remortgaging his home to initially open a sports car restoration business in Worcester.

Together with former colleague Dave Chappell, he then launched MGR Services, at first doing repair and maintenance work on Rovers and MGs.

The business went from strength to strength and diversified into other vehicle makes – and now the MOT bay is adding a vital new dimension to the garage. Tony, who runs MGR Services with wife Kay and business partner Rob Fisher after Dave left, said: “It took us 13 months trying to get planning permission from the council.

“We raised the money to finance the bay by having a personal loan off a relative and doing all the labouring work ourselves.

“Banks say they are helping small businesses but interest rates are phenomenal.

“We had to barrow 27 tons of concrete in total. It took us five days and was hard work but we think the MOT bay should make a big difference to the business.

“I spoke to Richard Burden regarding the opening of the bay and his MGZT was due an MOT, so we used his car as the first MOT to be issued.”

Tony said the MOT facility represented an investment of more than £33,000 in the Northfield garage.

MGR Services has built up a string of regular customers, including many ex-Longbridge workers, since its launch around three years ago.

“The business is going excellently. People have been really good to us and they keep coming back.

“I would say 30 per cent of our business is still Rovers,” he added.