A FAMILY run garage near Frodsham has won an award recognising independent workshops.

TotalEnergies Marketing UK has announced that Mill Lane Garage in Kingsley has been named the winner of its inaugural Fit for the Future award.

The award was launched to recognise and reward independent workshops who are evolving their businesses as part of the decarbonisation of the automotive industry and the transition to more sustainable mobility.

Eligible garages could either enter themselves for the award, or be nominated by a customer or supplier.

Entries were assessed by a panel of judges including automotive experts from TotalEnergies’ lubricants division and Adam Beswick, head of category for Lubricants and Filtration at Alliance Automotive Group - the second largest distributor of passenger and commercial vehicle parts to the independent automotive aftermarket in Europe.

Garages entering the award were judged against three core criteria:

• Carbon saving (immediate / long term)

• Biodiversity impact (Local or commercial)

• Innovation, ambition, and inspiration.

Mill Lane Garage impressed the panel with its investment in solar panels which has significantly reduced grid energy consumption and moved the business on to a more sustainable footing.

At the same time, Mill Lane has made a major contribution to the local environment and carbon capture through joining with the Mersey Forest scheme and planting 4,000 trees on land adjacent to the garage – which proprietor PJ Starkey notes has been particularly well received by customers.

Winning the Fit for the Future award, Mill Lane was provided a £5,000 prize bundle by TotalEnergies to help the business continue on its journey towards net zero.

Chester and District Standard: Mill LaneMill Lane (Image: Infinite Global)

David Valentyne, Business Development Manager at TotalEnergies Marketing UK, said: “First and foremost a big thank you to all of the workshops who submitted or were nominated for the TotalEnergies UK Fit for the Future Award.

"We saw some brilliant examples of practical sustainability in action and choosing a winner was not at all straightforward.

“Mill Lane Garage is a shining example of an independent workshop committed to sustainability, demonstrating dedication to reducing its environmental impact and embracing good practices to support decarbonisation."

He added: "In today's challenging economic and political climate, it is inspiring to see independent workshops like Mill Lane Garage taking proactive measures to become more sustainable.

"Their commitment to reducing their environmental footprint is not only commendable but also essential for the future of the automotive industry, with bold steps needed to mitigate and manage the environmental impact of motoring as we transition towards decarbonised mobility.

"We are proud to recognize Mill Lane Garage's leadership and applaud their efforts in inspiring others to follow suit."

PJ Starkey, owner of Mill Lane Garage, said: “We wanted to do anything we could to improve sustainability especially as we’re in a trade which by its nature is a hostile environment for the planet and nature.

"Customers comment on the trees all the time as they are very visible and a big project.

"Our solar panels are behind the scenes so people may not recognise they’re there and what they do, but they have enabled us to make real energy savings – which both has saved us money as a business when bills are going up as well as making our energy usage more green.”