How It Started
February 2012 saw the creation of Rallysport Engineering Academy. An alternative provision centre, specialising in the teaching of motor vehicle mechanics to young learners who benefit from a more hands on approach to learning. Working with young learners who suffer with BESD or special needs. Our aim was to give everyone an opportunity to succeed and gain qualifications in a practical, valued and well respected course. Our first site opened up on the Action park in Wickford, serving the surrounding areas of Basildon.The Academy
Our First Academic Year
After a successful trial period it was time to kit out our first workshop with vehicle ramps and correct tooling. August 2012 was gruelling, with a lot to complete in a short amount of time. We registered with ABC awards to be able to deliver motor vehicle qualifications, we installed ramps, painted the workshop, created class rooms, common rooms and bought in exciting, interesting vehicles. It was challenging and excruciating at times, but we were ready for the first students to start at the beginning of September and we have not looked back since.
Focus WRC Build
So it was time to introduce our first major project to the students. We wanted something fun, interesting, exciting, utilising an every day car. We opted to purchase a standard Ford Focus, and strip it back to its bare chassis. We then purchased a WRC wide body kit and built the vehicle back up with the students. The project took 10 months in total and included modifications such as new suspension, perspex windows, full roll cage, upgraded brakes, and racing seats, along with a few other bits and pieces to bring a real rally look to the vehicle. This is our main show car at present whilst our next project is underway.
June 2013 saw the release of our first promotional video. Things have changed since then!!
First Qualifications Issued
So our first full year was complete, and after a successful external moderation from our awarding body ABC Awards, we successfully attend qualifications for 41 students, ranging from Level 1 awards through to Diploma. Congratulations and thank you to all those students that made our first year so successful!!
Our move to Colchester
Having built a fantastic reputation in Wickford, schools soon starting asking for us to open a provision in Colchester. We managed to locate an ideal workshop in Colchester on the Cowdrey Estate. Unfortunately the premises need a fair bit of work to bring it up to Rallysport standards. By February we were ready for out first students to come through the door. Soon after opening we had a visit from OFSTED, who gave us outstanding comments and were thoroughly impressed by our provision.
After a successful 6 months in Colchester, we were soon out of space and needed a larger site. Luck was on our side and an ideal site was on the market on Whitehall industrial estate. The premises was large enough and versatile enough for us to allow for future expansion into other sectors. We attained the keys in July and the race was on to build and create an environment suitable to teach motor vehicle mechanics. After a lot of paint, carpet, sweat, tears and workshop equipment, we were ready to open for Septembers intake.
The new promotional video
The Next Chapter
After laying solid foundations in Colchester with regards to our alternative provision, we then decided it was time to further grow the company, to secure funding for the future. June came around and we opened our Service Repair and MOT centre. After substantial investment in some very hi-tec equipment, we started slow and steady and have rapidly increased turnover in a short space of time.
To advertise our new Service, Repair and MOT centre, we decided to sponsor Colchester United Football Club. We saw this as an opportunity to make ourselves known to the community of Colchester, and hope that by raising awareness of our brand we would be able to attract custom to our service centre.
No rest for the Wicked
Despite hoping for a summer holiday whereby we could relax, we were fresh out of luck. It was time to move our Wickford academy into a new location, to provide extra room and better facilities. We found an ideal warehouse on Heron Industrial Estate in Wickford, and after another hectic 6 weeks holiday, we were ready for September to take another intake of Students. Despite being an ongoing situation to constantly improve the facilities, its proven to be a successful move, with Wickford up 25% in enrolments.
New Awarding Body
As well as moving our Wickford site, we also registered with a new awarding body. We are now certified to deliver IMI Awards qualifications. The most recognised qualification in the motor vehicle industry. We hope that by delivering these qualifications we further straighten the Rallysport brand, and give students and even better opportunity to be successful in their chosen career path.
A Sister Company
After a successful trial period in our service centre, we decided to set up a sister company to Rallysport Engineering, called Rallysport Automotive. Rallysport Automotive is to look after all work relating to our service, repair and MOT centre. We had a new company logo, some new colours and new uniform. We also hope that our customers will have a clearer understanding of the roles of each company and are able to see the good work completed by both.
MOT Bay Installation
After a long wait, we could finally announce that our MOT bay was ready for its first job. After Purchasing one of Boston GE’s latest MOT bays and having the four post lift built into the ground, we were set! It had been a long time coming, however, looking after our pennies paid off! Next step is to recruit some more high skilled mechanics to help us keep up with demand!Book Your MOT
Car Sales Division
As a natural progression from our MOT, Service and Repair centre, we have started our own car sales department. Each car is fully prepped, including a service and MOT. We also offer lifetime MOT’s with every purchase. Stephen, our head of Car sales is passionate and friendly, and with him on board we believe we can provide high quality car’s to Colchester and the surrounding areas.Car sales
After 18 months of our car sales division operating, we finally reached our target or stocking 100 vehicles on site. From £1500 to £8000, we stock a wide variety of vehicles from 2 seats to 7 seats, to 4×4 to convertible. Hoping to have something for everyone when they come to visit. We take great pride in the cars we offer for sale and are hopefully building up a reputation of trust and honesty.
Having worked hard over the last few years building up a big customer base, we thought it was about time to upgrade our waiting area to make it more comfortable for our loyal customers. A lick of paint, new viewing window, new furniture, a much better coffee machine and a work area for those that are working on the go, just a few of the new updates we put into place. We think it looks fantastic, let us know what you think next time you pop in!!