Great British Sports Cars (GBS), on Maun Way, Boughton, manufacture and sell factory-built or kit versions of sports cars. The majority of the parts are developed in workshops on the site.
Their most popular design is the Zero, which takes design inspiration from the Lotus Seven sports car, with more than 600 sales of the car worldwide.
GBS received a £125,000 grant from funding body Niche Vehicle Network, to help expand their service. The money will allow them to collaborate with Nottingham-based manufacturers Far-UK on car-related designs and projects in the future.
Mr Ben Bird, the general manager of GBS, said the extra funding would also allow them to bring in more young staff to learn the trade. “The further support enables us to have apprentices which will help us progress as a manufacturer,” he said.
We had one join us last year and we are hoping to have two more come in 2017. There aren’t the experts out there who specialise in this industry so the best we can do is bring in young people and show them the skills on site. You can’t afford to stand still in this industry. At the moment we sell around 100 units a year, but we want to be aiming for 200 to 1,000 in the coming years. We are also looking at producing some more modern designs and dealing with more people overseas.
The firm employs 13 people at its workshop. Mr Bird said that with the parts it makes it could move into other industries such as aerospace and rail.
The firm was visited Thursday by Mr Mark Spencer, the MP for Sherwood, who said he had been impressed by their pledge to bring in more apprentices.
GBS are a good example of a medium-sized business who put in a lot of graft and are making jobs. They don’t get the publicity they deserve. They are creating good opportunities for young people to learn skills for life and to build a career out of it.
Mr Spencer said it was good to have specialists in the field representing the region and giving opportunities for young people.
“In terms of what they do, they are one of the best at what they do in the world. It’s cutting edge stuff and to have that in Ollerton is pretty exciting,” he said.
For me, it’s about building careers and proper jobs. They are building a business that can compete in a world market. We want to see more of these jobs in Ollerton, not somewhere overseas like Singapore. It’s a very aspirational business to be involved in. The cars are great fun, super fast, but they are within reach of normal people.
Thomas Slaney, 16, joined the company as an apprentice six months ago and helps to produce individual parts for cars.
“It’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time and it’s been very hands-on since I joined,” he said. “It’s been a great experience for me and I would recommend the apprenticeship to other people.”
Note: Parts or all of this article originally appeared on Newark Advertiser.