Tyne Valley Motorhomes, in Byermoor, keen to expand

Jonathan Bell, right, with Derek and Elaine Armstrong

Jonathan Bell, right, with Derek and Elaine Armstrong

First published in Business News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

A FAMILY-RUN motorhome business, which was founded on a driveway, is now investing £150,000 to continue its growth.

Tyne Valley Motorhomes, in Byermoor, near Stanley, County Durham, says sales have risen 56 per cent above first quarter targets.

Bosses are now aiming to overhaul its base, including its sales and service centres, as part of a three-year expansion plan.

Jonathan Bell, who took running the business from parents Derek and Elaine Armstrong six years ago, said he wants to increase turnover by 20 per cent after the firm and its customers weathered the worst of the recession.

He said: “There’s been a lot of doom and gloom over the last three or four years, certainly in luxury products and the leisure industry.

“Our customers seemed to be nervous about buying, more because they were worried about their children’s security during the downturn, rather than their own.

“But that is changing and more people are planning trips to enjoy themselves again.

“We have seen a rise in the number of customers who are buying on the day, rather than going away to think about it.

“It’s really great to see customers feeling more relaxed again and both the mood and sales are incredibly positive.”

The business was started in 1986 by Mr Armstrong, who converted motorhomes and sold them from his driveway in Burnopfield.

As it progressed, the firm outgrew its original premises, which could hold 20 motorhomes, with its existing site now capable of housing up to 100 vehicles.

Mr Bell added: “We are proud of our heritage and know our success is largely down to combining solid family values with first-class service.

“It might sound clichéd, but the whole team genuinely cares about our customers.”

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