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£200,000 investment helps fund upgrade and expansion at leading accident repair centre.

Published: 8th February 2005

A £200,000 investment by South Yorkshire Investment Fund is going towards creating one of Britain’s most technologically advanced vehicle accident repair centres.

RC Jones’s (Motor Bodies) Ltd is investing £1m to transform its Claycliffe Road, Barnsley, workshops and offices into a state-of-the art facility. The refurbishment will enable the company to expand its operations and increase its 30-strong workforce by up to ten staff over the next 12 months.

Managing director Neilson Jones, whose grandfather Robert Charles Jones founded the company in 1945, said the investment would enable the business to maintain its growth which has seen it become one of the leading accident repair centres in the region. Around 85% of its business comes from nine leading insurance companies and two major car fleets, totalling 3,000 vehicles.

Installing new paint spray-booths and aluminium repair bays will enable RC Jones to expand further its work for commercial and private customers. Mr Jones is currently negotiating with leading makers of cars with high aluminium content, including Jaguar, BMW and Audi for official manufacturers’ accreditation.

He said: "The refurbishment is a major project to ensure we have the best facilities for staff and customers as we continue to expand the business. The workshops will be of the highest standard and the reception area and offices will match the best car showroom environment."

"We are also building a 7,500 sq ft extension at the rear of the site which will house the new equipment and also provide a dedicated training suite to ensure our people’s skills are kept updated. In addition the extension will house a new staff canteen and gymnasium. It is vital that we look after our skilled staff in order to keep the best people in an industry where competition for skilled workers is very strong."

Investment manager Clive Downward said:" This is an established and very well managed business which has been owned by the same family since its formation 60 years ago. The refurbishment programme is vital to its continued success and we are pleased to be supporting this crucial stage in its future development. "

South Yorkshire Investment Fund offers a range of loan and equity investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2.5m, to help small and medium businesses bridge the funding gap that often hamstrings growing businesses.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).