Anniversary heralds big plans for Cirencester and Swindon's Prestige Accident Repair Centres

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By Inatizzy | Monday, October 08, 2012, 11:06

A Cirencester accident repair centre is celebrating its upcoming birthday with big plans for the next 12 months.

In the four short years since it was first established in November 2008, Prestige Accident Repair Centres - which has branches in both Cirencester and Swindon - has gained the BSI Kitemark standard in vehicle body repairs, received the approval of high-profile manufacturers such as Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Suzuki, and won service contracts with big-name clients such as Wessex Garages, the Pebley Beach group, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Aldi stores.

Speaking from his Cirencester centre, managing director, Sean Rastelli, said he is looking forward to building on the successes of the company's first four years by expanding operations and converting and refurbishing the two body shop units at its Chesterton Lane site.

"We've just outgrown operations as they are," he explained. "We've expanded so much over the past four years. There just isn't enough room for us all in this office now, and our customers deserve a designated area of their own."

Sean took on a second unit at the Quarry Bridge Works site two years ago which, while currently used solely as a body repair shop, he plans to utilise to further improve operations.

"We're going to convert and refurbish our second body shop unit to incorporate a customer reception and waiting area as well as an operations room on the ground floor," he explains.

"On the first floor we're going to have another office, a meeting room and a storage and filing area. It will be so much better."

With a projected growth of around 25 per cent over the next 12 months, Prestige appears to be recession-proof, but Sean disagrees.

"Like everyone else, we've gone through some tough times," he says. "But because we've invested so much in training and our staff and equipment, we've managed to survive and even grow.

"But the main reason for our success, I believe, is our customer service. Most of the time our clients need a quick turnaround. Clients like Wessex, Pebley Beach and Enterprise, for instance, need the repairs carried out to their vehicles and the cars back on their forecourts as soon as possible. It's vital to their businesses.

"Wessex Garages has four major dealerships in the South West - they're a huge client. So I am extremely proud to be their body repair specialist of choice.

"Chris Wiseman, the operations director for the Wessex Group, says he likes dealing with us because we are an independent business, so he knows that he's going to receive a speedy, efficient and quality service."

A view shared, it seems, by Prestige's domestic clients too - be it word of mouth or repeat custom, its centres have fast-become renowned locally as the go-to places for a friendly, reliable and quality body repair service.

"We specialise in composite repairs too," says Sean. "That's fibre glass, carbon fibre, kevlar - for vehicles such as the TVR and Lotus in particular.

"We also carry out repairs on bumpers manufactured from various plastic materials using hot and cold repair methods and hot stapling, and our UV system allows us to repair and refurbish headlights - including polycarbonates.

"We carry out a lot of repair work for Neil Garner Performance Engineering at nearby Kemble. Neil and his team look after race and high-performance road cars, and often call on our services."

But aside from the range of specialist services provided, Sean attributes a lot of Prestige's success to his team of highly-proficient body shop technicians - he employs 12 in total across the Cirencester and Swindon centres. The key to having such a first-class team, he believes, is in "growing the people you have working for you".

"Two of our team have just come out of apprenticeships with us," he explains. "I feel it's important to give young people these opportunities. Through an apprenticeship scheme they get the chance to prove themselves and their capabilities. They are a really valuable asset."

Sean's looking forward to putting into practice all his plans for Prestige's future - although he knows it's going to be hard work for him and all his team.

"I know it can't all be done at once - there's so much to do. But I'm very excited for Prestige's future.

"In the middle of very hard times, I'm proud to be the owner of a Cotswolds-based business which is bucking the trend, because we do things differently - and that's why our customers keep coming back to us."



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