Third-generation family business expands thanks to finance experts

A PASSION for motors has always driven the Ainsworth family to succeed.

For more than 50 years, three generations have successfully led the way in steering the

family garage business forward.

Now, thanks to that motoring legacy, the family’s ongoing vision, and an injection of financial expertise from Hornby Commercial, the business has successfully expanded.

Karina Gallagher, of Hornby Commercial, with Dale, Louise, Richard, and the team at Ainsworth's Garage, Ulverston

As well as continuing to service large commercial vehicles for which the business has been

known over the decades, Ainsworth’s have recently opened a large MOT bay with the space

to accommodate larger vans, motorhomes and horse boxes. Minibuses and taxis can also

be tested on site.

Investment in brand new commercial brake rollers, a 12-tonne four-post lift, beam setter and

the latest MOT equipment are helping to ensure that Ainsworth’s Garage in Ulverston still

continues to offer the best possible service to all their customers; commercial and private,

large and small.

Founded at North Lonsdale Road, Ulverston, in the 1960s by Dick Ainsworth, the business

passed to his children Richard Ainsworth, who also achieved national acclaim on the stock-

car racing circuit, and Karen Garstang who ran the business together for many successful

years. Richard’s son Dale also joined the team immediately after leaving school.

Louise Slee is the latest family member to have joined the following her mum Karen’s death

in 2016.

Previously a senior NHS manager, Louise joined at a point where Richard and Dale were

considering how best to develop the business.

“Richard has done a brilliant job over the years building the business to where it is now.

There isn’t anything he doesn’t know about commercial vehicles. He is extremely

experienced and knowledgeable. Dale has completed qualifications in commercial vehicles,

light vehicles, diagnostics and is our MOT tester. We also employ two experienced

technicians so we have a great combination of skills and experience.

Richard Ainsworth at Ainsworth's Garage, Ulverston

“One thing we wanted to do was to expand and open a large MOT bay and update some of

our commercial equipment.”

That’s where Karina Gallagher, managing director at Hornby Commercial, came in.

With expensive specialist equipment to purchase Ainsworth’s turned to Karina for Hornby

Commercial’s expert financial help.

Louise said: “Karina has been fantastic.They are a local Ulverston business so she was able

to just pop in and talk to us when we needed advice. Hornby’s are our accountants as well

and they really understand family businesses and small businesses like ours and are brilliant

to deal with. I would definitely recommend them to other businesses thinking of expanding.

They have helped us grow our business.”

Having invested in the bespoke larger bay to cater for bigger vehicles, business is on the up.

Ainsworth’s are now able to offer a full MOT, servicing and repair service for all types of


Many local businesses use large sprinter vans which are easily accommodated in

Ainsworth’s new bay.

For private motorists it’s the time of the year when those with motorhomes and campervans

are hitting the roads for days out, weekends away, mini breaks, or even longer holidays in

this country or abroad, and Ainsworth’s is ideally placed to offer all the MOT and other

services for these vehicles.

Similarly those with horseboxes are getting out and about with their horses to attend shows

and other equestrian events, and Ainsworth’s is the ideal place to head for MOTs, services

and repairs.

Looking to the future, Louise is confident the business is set up for further growth on the

back of the company’s investment.

Louise Slee at Ainsworth's Garage Ulverston

“We still need more people to know that we are here. But word of mouth is getting around.

People are starting to know about us and what we can do.

“We would encourage people to pop into the office, have a chat with me or Tony, (Tony Foy, who also works in the office) and we will see if we can help you,” said Louise. Tony is

Ainsworth’s Compliance Manager who offers advice and guidance to customers on any

compliance issues and understanding vehicle rules and regulations.

Karina Gallagher is delighted that Hornby Commercial was able to play its part in helping the business to grow.

She said: “Our role is to make it as painless as possible for a business to source the finance

it needs.

“One of the main reasons that we launched Hornby Commercial was to make sure that

business owners can still receive a personal service when they need to discuss their


“In a world where banks are continuing to retreat from the High Street, and new finance

providers are advertising heavily on the internet, it is never more important to make sure you

are getting the right type of finance to suit your needs.

“I went to meet with Richard and Louise to discuss their requirements face to face which is

always our preferred option. It gives you a great opportunity to gain a clear understanding

of the business and its needs.

“We were able to advise them on the most suitable funding for them. We also dealt directly

with the suppliers to take all that headache away from them.

“It meant we were able to make sure invoices were paid when they needed to be so the kit

could be installed at the right time leaving Richard, Dale and Louise free to concentrate on

their business.”

Dale Ainsworth at Ainsworth's Garage, Ulverston

When it all comes together, and a business grows on the back of the advice and help

Hornby Commercial has given, no-one is more delighted than Karina.

“That is fantastic. It’s the best part of the job to be honest, and it’s why we do what we do.

“I have known Ainsworth’s for many years. It’s really satisfying to see a family business, and

a next generation family business, continue to expand and be successful.

“We are here to help people to get the right advice and find the best deal and make it as

easy for the business as possible. We do that, so that they don’t have to worry about it.

“If you go on the internet you might find something, but you don’t know if it’s the right advice or the best price. That’s where we come in with our expertise and experience.”

To find out how Hornby Commercial can help your business grow, contact Karina Gallagher

on 01229 588077 or email