A classic car modernisation business in Ilkeston has been able to expand thanks to loan funding from First Business Enterprise Agency (FEBA).
A-Series Spares which has just relocated to larger premises is run by Robert Stevenson. After gaining a passion for classic cars working in the family’s workshop, he decided he wanted to expand.
The business provides specialist services including producing tailored and modern products for classic cars such as central locking systems and electric windows, meaning people can have the classic cars they love, complete with up to date specifications. The other side of the company provides old fastenings for classic cars as well as nuts, bolts and spares for current motor vehicles.
Robert said: “A-Series Spares began around four and a half years ago and as you can imagine, starting a business during a recession made it very difficult to secure the bank funding we needed to transform our workshop into the business we wanted it to be. After being turned down for a loan I went to First Enterprise Business Agency (FEBA) and was able to get a start-up loan of £10,000 which was invaluable in allowing us to launch.”
The team of three at A-Series Spares also design products and electrics that people want added to their vehicles. The company then outsources the manufacturing of these products to Europe and the US, allowing them to provide a completely bespoke service to their customers.
Robert added: “We are doing very well and both the ‘nuts and bolts’ and classic car side of the business are growing month by month through word of mouth and positive online reviews.”
This continued growth in business has led the company to move from a workshop to Ilkeston’s The Ropewalk industrial estate. The move was supported by a top-up loan from FEBA. Neil Millington is loan fund manager at FEBA. He said: “It’s very satisfying for us to be able to support a business through the start-up and expansion stages just as we have done with Robert and A-Series Spares.
“The company is a great example of a how a business idea can really progress with the right support. We’re always happy to hear from others across Derbyshire who might want loan funding to help them launch or expand a business. Whilst people might think the door is closed when it comes to funding, FEBA has actually had its loan pot doubled for 2013 / 2014 taking it to £2m meaning we can help more people than ever before.”
As well as funding, FEBA also offers free and impartial advice to businesses to help them plan and grow.