Published Tuesday 18 October 2022 at 14:34
A Blackburn luxury car specialist is set to expand after being named the preferred bidder for a prominent development site.
Autolab UK Ltd provides bespoke 4×4, specialist and customised vehicles to a wide range of customers, including A-list clients across the country.
Due to their success over the last decade, the firm has already expanded its high-end premises in Gate Street twice and had been set to previously move to land off Wainwright Way.
Now, with requirements for an even bigger plot, they’ve been named by Blackburn with Darwen Council as the preferred bidder for a large site off Carl Fogarty Way.
Subject to planning permission, the move could pave the way for a £4m expansion.
General Manager, Adam Fuzail said:
Autolab was born out of our passion for cars and over the last 10 years we’ve proudly built a significant national brand.
We’ve already expanded our current premises and having now completely outgrown where we’re based, we’ve been looking for a site to move to.
We needed somewhere big enough to support our ambitions for the future and the site on Carl Fogarty Way is set over more than two acres, in a prime location with easy links to the local motorway network – perfect for us.
Autolab attracts clients from all over the country to their premier car dealership, with its stocklist boasting individual, bespoke, high-end and supercar vehicles.
Clients can also opt to have their luxury cars customised by Autolab with top of the range interiors, alloys and body kits.
Director Sajid Hussain, who has always lived in the borough, added:
More than 75% of our customers are from outside of the borough and they will travel the length and breadth of the country to visit us because we have such an impressive reputation – this is great for generating income into the borough.
This new site in Blackburn will be our flagship showroom with a production facility nearby servicing the retail offer.
Our focus will not only be on developing our current business model, but also expanding our range of electric vehicles which is an important move forward.
For the whole team, it was important that we kept the business in Blackburn with Darwen and its fantastic news that we’ve been chosen as the preferred bidder for this site.
The Autolab move will create new jobs – boosting the existing team of more than 25.
Carl Fogarty Way is part of the Council’s £4.8m Furthergate Link Road – connecting Junction 6 of the M65 with Blackburn town centre.
Councillor Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:
This proposed scheme is just the type of development we are looking to welcome as part of the investment in Carl Fogarty Way.
Better still, this offers the chance for us to support a successful Blackburn firm with their expansion plans.
It’s impressive what the whole of the Autolab team have achieved since first launching a decade ago and we look forward to seeing what the future can bring, especially with a focus on electric vehicles.
Sites like these unlock valuable opportunities to invest in the borough – supporting our strong vision for growth benefiting our residents, communities and businesses.
The site was offered for sale by the Council by informal tender in March this year with more than 40 local and regional developers being invited to express an interest.
Those bids were then judged on a range of detailed assessments, including quality of design, business needs, job creation and more.
As part of next steps, a full planning application for the proposed building will be submitted.
Read more about the £1bn vision for the future of Blackburn with Darwen here.