Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Logo (with tagline Ag Obair Còmhla Airson nan Eilean)
Lews Castle

Lochs MOT Centre

Donald Maclean
Donald Maclean, Lochs MOT Centre

A Leurbost garage has successfully expanded its offering to provide servicing and maintenance for electric vehicles (EVs) after the business owner accessed expert guidance and signposting to funding from Business Gateway, Scotland’s national business advisory service.

Lochs MOT Centre was set up by Donald Maclean, a fully qualified mechanic and fitter, in 2018. Donald has significant experience in a range of sectors, including in the wind and oil industries, and operates the garage with a team of three permanent and four part-time staff.

Following a number of years successfully running his garage, Donald identified an opportunity to expand his business offering by servicing and maintaining EVs. Motivated by the lack of options for the increasing number of EV owners in the Outer Hebrides, he approached Business Gateway for support in this new business venture.

Donald received one-to-one support from a dedicated Business Gateway adviser, as well as advice on his business plan and routes to funding.

Through Business Gateway, the team at Lochs MOT Centre also benefitted from grant funding from the Comhairle’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Grant Scheme (CERGS) and the Outer Hebrides Young Enterprise Support Scheme (OHYESS), which is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and delivered by Business Gateway.

This funding helped with the purchase of the tools and equipment that were necessary for the new element of the business, which were all purchased locally from Autoparts Stornoway.

Lochs MOT Centre is now a fully qualified EV repair centre, and the garage also offers a callout service, meaning an end to drivers needing to travel to the mainland to have any work done on their cars.

Donald Maclean, Owner, Lochs MOT Centre Ltd, said:

“I identified a real gap in the local market, with an increasing number of EVs and no local service facility available.  Business Gateway has been a fantastic support in helping us become a fully qualified EV repair centre, and we really couldn’t have done it without their advice and funding. I’m really proud that we are the only garage in the Outer Hebrides that can offer this service.”

Derek Maclean, Business Gateway adviser, said:

“Thanks to Donald and the team at Lochs MOT Centre, EV owners in the Western Isles now finally have a garage where they can get their vehicles serviced. It’s been a pleasure to support them on their new business venture, and I’m sure local EV owners will be pleased with the new service offering.”

To find out how Business Gateway could help your business, visit the Business Gateway website.