February 2012 was were it all started! Set up as a community interest company our main aim was to provide a safe, exciting and interesting learning environment, to those students who find the hands on approach to learning more beneficial!
At the time, it was a risk, but a calculated one. Founded by Sam Nagle and Bill Mills, we unsure as to whether there was a need for such a provision. There were already some very well respected alternative provision centres in South Essex, and to go up against them and try and build our own valued centre would take a lot of hard work and substantial investment. However, nothing worth while comes easy, and that has been a mantra that we have lived by ever since.
Our first site was located on the Action Park in Wickford. It was a fairly small workshop of around 2,000 square feet, however, we had the potential to expand the site into neighbouring units should we become busy enough!
We started off by tidying the place up, purchasing a vehicle ramp, laying some floor plaint and purchasing some new vehicles for the students to work on. We also purchased 2 kit cars for the students to build up and cover various aspects of engineering, including fabrication and electronics.
We created a reception area to welcome students and also created a classroom area to teach the theoretical side of the qualification.
After starting out in the unknown, Rallysport proved to become a great success and before we knew it we were fully booked for the 12/13 academic year. Therefore it was time to further enhance our provision and purchase new equipment and give the workshop a whole new lease of life! We bought in a 4 poster ramp, a tyre changer, wheel balancer, basic wheel alignment tools and more complex hand tools. It was to be our first busy 6 weeks through the summer period. Little did we know 4 years later we still would not have any rest!
We also took over a second unit behind our current unit, in which we could create a new classroom, common room and office area. Therefor giving us extra space in the workshop for more vehicles.