Move puts Wearside firm in driving seat

Nick Hardie, left, with Gordon Brown at the new site in Durham.

Nick Hardie, left, with Gordon Brown at the new site in Durham.

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A LEADING Wearside motor dealership has hit the road with a little help from its friends.

Peugeot dealer Richard Hardie is driving growth from its new flagship showroom after advice from North East law firm Gordon Brown Associates.

The firm has moved its Chester-le-Street branch to a new showroom at Durham City Retail Park.

The prominent site is home to a car servicing centre and will sell Peugeot parts and accessories. The branch is run by 19 staff.

With four branches across the region –- in Sunderland, Ashington, Silverlink and Durham – Richard Hardie is the newest Fiat and Abarth dealer in the region, as well as being the biggest Peugeot dealer in the North East.

Managing director Philip Hardie said the move would significantly raise the company’s profile and hep it reach some ambitious targets.

“The opening of the new Durham site marks an exciting new chapter for us,” he said.

“With our new central location at Durham City Retail Park, we now have access to a much larger market.

“We are hoping that the move will help us achieve our target annual turnover of £10million and also raise our profile within County Durham.”

Richard Hardie is a family business that started trading in 1972 – from the recently-vacated Chester-le-Street branch – where it operated as a Peugeot dealership for 22 years.

The two companies have a long history of working together:

“Gordon Brown has been a trusted adviser for many years and advised us on the legal side of the deal in the areas of commercial property and commercial disputes,” said Mr Hardie.

Gordon Brown Associates senior partner Gordon Brown said: “I have had the pleasure of assisting Richard Hardie Limited with its four most recent acquisitions.

“It’s great for me personally and Gordon Brown Associates to be aligned with such a progressive and well-respected family company.

“Philip has been talking to me for quite a few years about opportunities for him in the Durham market.

“It’s pleasing for me to see him realise his ambitions in Durham at last.

“It is a prime location from which to grow its customer base. ”

Founded in 1981,Gordon Brown Associates now has legal offices in Chester-le-Street, Newcastle and Houghton and is ranked in the Legal500 – the leading industry guide to the legal profession.

A multi-discipline law firm, it can handle a wide range of legal and property-related matters including employment and commercial property law, starting, buying and selling a business, licensing, and general insurance.