PR executive starts up new Autosmart franchise with NatWest support

PR executive starts up new Autosmart franchise with NatWest support

A former media officer with Lincolnshire County Council has left his job to set up a new Autosmart International franchise with the support of NatWest.

Gavin Thomas has taken on the Autosmart franchise for Lincoln. Autosmart are the largest suppliers of vehicle cleaning products to the motor trade. Autosmart International was established in the UK in 1979. They develop and manufacture their own products which are distributed exclusively through an international network of franchisees. Each franchise operates from a “mobile showroom” which is a purpose built vehicle laid out inside like a supermarket, which allows customers to take immediate delivery of their products.

NatWest has provided Gavin with the funding to allow him to purchase the franchise opportunity as well as providing working capital support and installing card processing systems. The bank has been a long time supporter of the franchise sector. Earlier this year the bank launched a £100m franchise fund providing finance at discounted rates to the sector.

Speaking about his career shift, Gavin Thomas said: “The lure of the opportunity to become my own boss was too great to turn down. Whilst enjoying my previous career in public relations, I have always had the dream to run my own business. Autosmart is a strong franchise operator and provides large market opportunities, as it products appeal to the owners and operators of all motor vehicles. I have received a lot of support from Autosmart, and I am really keen to maximise the opportunities I believe there is for this franchise in Lincoln.”

Keith Cawkwell, business development manager, business banking at NatWest, who worked with Dave Ashby, Gavin’s new relationship manager on the funding package adds: “For people wanting to set up their own business - franchising is a great model to follow. This is reflected by how the franchise sector in the UK has continued to grow despite the recession. We are pleased to have helped establish Gavin in his new franchise, and look forward to watching his progress with interest.”

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