A North East taxi entrepreneur has extended his business empire after acquiring a major new site in Tees Valley.
New premises, which is expected to become the base for up to 150 drivers and control staff by the year end as well as a repair centre open to the public, has been acquired by Middlesbrough Borough Cars Ltd in Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, with help from Yorkshire Bank.
Middlesbrough Borough Cars Ltd acquired the one-acre site, the former Supreme Knitwear Factory, and built the new depot with a total investment of more than £1m, after winning backing from Yorkshire Bank’s Tees Valley Financial Solutions Centre (FSC), Stockton-on-Tees.
The taxi company, launched by managing director, Mohammed Bashir, and his two brothers, who have since left the business, in 1986, has launched the new depot as a satellite to his Middlesbrough headquarters which is the base for more than 500 drivers, control staff and management operating in a 20-mile radius of Middlesbrough.
Mohammed Bashir opened the new depot to provide a more convenient service for people in Stockton and new depot incorporates a drivers’ canteen and four mechanics providing services including fitting car tyres, brakes and exhausts.
The launch of the new depot follows the acquisition of four local taxi businesses including JPM Taxis, Eston; T&J Taxis, Southbank, Cleveland Cars, all of Middlesbrough and Mandale Taxis, Thornaby, Stockton, in the last two years all with support from Yorkshire Bank’s Tees Valley FSC.
The rapid expansion follows successful moves by Mr Bashir to raise standards in the taxi industry including working with Middlesborough Borough Council and Northumbria College, Stockton; to launch a new vocational qualification, a B/Tech and an NVQ in taxi driving which he specified and is now run by the college and others throughout the UK.
Modern facilities at the company’s £3m headquarters on an eight-acre site Cargo Fleet, Middlesbrough, include a canteen, gymnasium, snooker lounge and service centre
Mohammed Bashir, 44, says: “I never in a million years would have dreamed I would be heading a business of this size when my brothers and I launched this venture 23 years ago and we were doing all the driving.
“I have worked hard to provide the best for our staff in terms of training and facilities to change the image of the profession and provide the very best for all our customers.
“This new base in Stockton enables us to improve our services and response times in Tees Valley as we continue to expand. I’ve been with Yorkshire Bank for more than 20 years and it has given me first-class support throughout buying the new base and the recent acquisitions.”
Yorkshire Bank Tees Valley FSC business partner, Paul Wells, says: “Middlesbrough Borough Cars is the largest and most forward-thinking taxi company in the North East and we are delighted to have backed them in this latest expansion plan as we continue to support trading businesses in this area.”
Yorkshire Bank’s Tees Valley FSC, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, has 39 staff providing bespoke banking solutions to businesses and individuals and also covers Middlesbrough, Darlington, Durham and Hartlepool.