Stourport's oldest garage gets a new lease of life as it approaches 100th year

Bosses of Stourport’s oldest garage have reassured motorists across Wyre Forest that they’re alive and kicking, after a 98-year chapter closed and an exciting new era began under new ownership.

Centre manager Paul Burge and technicians John Holmes and Josh Needham are looking forward to a bright new beginning at the former Lloyd’s garage in Stourport
Centre manager Paul Burge and technicians John Holmes and Josh Needham are looking forward to a bright new beginning at the former Lloyd’s garage in Stourport

The former Lloyds Garage, founded in 1924, is now undergoing a transformation after being bought out by ETB Autocentres.

And far from closing its doors as some customers have feared in recent weeks, the future is looking brighter than ever in Sandy Lane after ETB took the helm to add to its existing presence in the town, which already includes a nearby centre along Sandy Lane Industrial Estate.

ETB has already invested £20,000 in new engine diagnostic equipment, MOT facilities and signage, with an old paper-based invoicing process also being transformed through a new garage management system.

Centre manager Paul Burge, who has worked at the depot for the past 43 years, was keen to let motorists know that business was still booming.

Paul Burge

“Lloyds almost made it to its century milestone, but we’ll be getting there with ETB now after being taken over," he said.

"Because the garage is so synonymous with people in Stourport, there have been concerns that we have disappeared, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Paul, aged 64, will continue to be the friendly face of the business, while colleagues Josh Needham and John Holmes are also remaining in place. Lloyds Garage used to be based at the bottom of Bridge Street until 11 years ago, when it moved to its current home in Sandy Lane. It will continue to specialise in services, MOTs, brakes and mechanical work, while any tyre, exhaust and battery work will be undertaken by ETB’s adjacent depot.

In a mark of respect for the old garage, ETB will be erecting new Lloyds Garage signage to sit alongside its own, which has never been done before at other sites following a takeover.

ETB’s latest acquisition brings its total number of centres up to 41, which include a presence in Kidderminster and other Worcestershire garages in Worcester, Evesham, Malvern and Redditch.

ETB’s retail director Paul Nunn, who is also a Stourport resident, said the decision to open up a second depot in the town was proof that the area was thriving in terms of aftermarket business.

He said: “Stourport is a place very close to my heart and like most people who live here, I knew Lloyds Garage very well and held it in high regard.

“When the opportunity arose to take over, we jumped at it because we know what the garage means to everyone here. Lloyds has a legacy that we will preserve at ETB.

“We’ll continue to offer a warm, friendly service in the heart of the community, with nothing but honesty and transparency throughout.

“Many customers have been coming here for decades, so we will continue to uphold the same traditions to ensure that they keep coming back. We’re upgrading equipment here to support Paul and the team and we’ll continue to evolve to ensure we’re on the map for many, many years to come.”

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