A classic car restoration company has been acquired with a six-figure funding package from HSBC UK.
Charles Ware’s Morris Minor Centre, situated in Brislington, between Bristol and Bath, has been acquired by Ecotec Partners. The team, co-founded by Gareth Hamer and Ken Devoy, have ambitious plans for the future of the business, hoping to broaden its international customer base and create new restoration services for other marques, as well as the introduction of electric motors into classic cars.
The company has been renovating Morris Minors and other car marques for 43 years and sells spare parts and fully restored cars. All staff have been retained as part of the acquisition, including the general manager Andy Hemings who has been with the business for 28 years. The company is already recruiting new staff with specialist skills and a number of apprenticeships in Classic Car Engineering in conjunction with the Heritage Skills Academy are being offered.
Ken Devoy, co-founder of Ecotec Partners, said: “Morris Minors are some of the UK’s most iconic British Classic cars. It’s a privilege to be able to buy into the uniquely talented team at Charles Ware. We are looking forward to welcoming new and existing customers together with taking the business in fresh directions whilst building on its history, skills and reputation.
Gareth Hamer, co-founder of Ecotec Partners, added: “We’re thrilled to have purchased Charles Ware’s Morris Minor Centre. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our relationship manager at HSBC UK, Joel Dunning. The demand for classic car restoration services has been going from strength to strength in recent years, so we look forward to seeing the business continue to grow in the future.”
David Butler, HSBC UK’s Business Banking Director for Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, said: “Gareth, Ken, Andy and their team are passionate about delivering high-quality restoration vehicles and in growing the business with the development of sustainable electric car conversions. We are delighted to support and see their ambitious business plans begin to materialise. We’re proud to be backing another thriving South West business as it passes onto its new ownership and we wish the team the very best for the future.”
The funding package from HSBC UK was allocated from the bank’s £550 million SME Fund which supports SMEs across Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
"Morris Minors are some of the UKs most iconic British Classic cars. Its a privilege to be able to buy into the uniquely talented team at Charles Ware."
Ken Devoy, co-founder of Ecotec Partners