Golden anniversary for Chartwell

Chartwell in Derby is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The prestige bodyshop, which started life behind a bakery repairing Rolls Royce factory vehicles in the year England won the World Cup, can now boast many manufacturer approvals including Ferrari, Bentley, Aston Martin, Porsche and Tesla.

For the last 14 years it’s been operating out of state-of-the-art facilities on Pride Park, and has major plans to continue growing its business including the 50-strong team.

Chris Brightmore, CEO, Chartwell, said, ‘We’ve seen enormous progress in car manufacture and technology in 50 years and no doubt the next 50 years will continue to see rapid change again. We’ve worked hard to achieve our premier position in the industry and are proud of our staff, who share our values for delivering exemplary customer service. Everyone at Chartwell is looking forward to the big party we’ve planned to celebrate this Golden Anniversary and to the future.’

The company was founded by family members Geoff, Gene and Peter Gibbs who, together with Mick Bill, founded Buxton Garage, as it was known back then.

The 1970s presented some challenging times for the company with Rolls Royce, the company’s biggest customer, in troubled waters. However, the bodyshop then moved from an old unit behind Perkins Boilers onto new premises behind Mertrux in Derby, where it began acquiring the manufacturer approvals it is renowned for today.

During this period, Mark Grogan joined the operation in 1997 and the bodyshop changed its name to Chartwell after Winston Churchill’s home.

In 2002, Chris Brightmore came on board to assist the bodyshop in achieving its ongoing growth ambitions, and shortly afterwards the business relocated to its current premises near Derby County’s stadium.

The glass and chrome bodyshop broke new ground in bodyshop design when it was built, and Chartwell was also one of the first bodyshops to specialise in aluminium repairs and still has the largest independent aluminium and carbon fibre repair facility.

Equipment and tooling is top of the range and it has also invested in a bespoke Vehicle Accident Damage Appraisal (VADA) unit equipped with diagnostic and vehicle assessment technology to ensure the safety and highest standards of repair.

Meanwhile, the company has won numerous industry and business awards over the years and in 2010 was ranked 12th in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. Staff welfare is a focal point and as well as regular training and personal development programmes, there are generous staff benefits, such as birthday off days, childcare vouchers, flexible working hours, spa days and clothes allowances.

Plans are now well underway for the staff to celebrate Chartwell’s Golden Anniversary with a huge party.