Firms rally to get garage’s life back

UP AND RUNNING Scott MacDonald, left, and his business partner Lee Peach. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (121894-1)
UP AND RUNNING Scott MacDonald, left, and his business partner Lee Peach. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (121894-1)
Rae Bryden, manager at Joules in Gunwharf Quays, who was the Manager of the Year winner and was runner-up in the Fashion Store of the Year category at The News's Retail and Leisure Awards in 2016.  Picture: Sarah Standing (170883-5016)

Shortlist revealed for The News Retail and Leisure Awards 2017

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A YEAR of hard work has paid off for a pair of business owners who almost lost everything.

When Lee Peach and Scott MacDonald’s business was destroyed by fire in August last year, it was almost the end of Scope Leasing.

Nothing could be saved after the fire, which devastated the garage and offices in Copnor, Portsmouth.

The blaze began in the garage’s big paint spray booth, though a forensic examination failed to find the exact cause.

Scott said: ‘They said it could have been something as simple as a rat chewing through a cable.’

The office side of the business moved into temporary accommodation provided by Aquacars, which sends a lot of its cabs to the company for servicing and repair.

A second unit was found by Scope’s competitor, Fast Track garage, so Scope could continue its work repairing cars.

The old garage was completely rebuilt, as the fire had been so hot that all the steel beams holding the old building up had become twisted.

The work began in February and by May the last lick of paint had gone on the walls.

The new garage and offices is now open for business, paid for in part by Lee and Scott themselves.

Scott added: ‘Before we had to work around the building, so when we came to rebuild we designed the building around our needs.

‘We had a lot of input into the design.’

The pair have also built in room to expand, with extra office space planned for the future.

They said they are very pleased with the finished factory, and say they wouldn’t have kept the business had it not been for the help they got.

Scott said: ‘We’d like to thank Ronnie from Aquacars, Richie Bowes from Fast Track, and our staff – they’ve been fantastic.