THE managing director of Headley Tyres has a very personal reason to be proud of how the firm she leads is going from strength to strength.

Linda Dunn has recently opened a new state-of-the-art tyre centre where professional brake testing and wheel alignment services are offered.

The new building, just off the A339 Newbury Road, on the very edge of the border of Basingstoke and Deane, was built to the designs of her late partner George Ware.

Tragically, 44-year-old George drowned off the Spanish coast in 2008. Linda subsequently took up the reins of running the business and the challenge of building the new purp-ose-built premises, replacing Headley Tyres’ fragmented former site.

Linda said: “This, for me, has all been built in memory of George – I even had a plaque put up for him in the reception.”

Linda said the building is “George’s baby” and one which involved him battling against planners and various appeals to gain permission to get the project off the ground.

Linda recalled: “When he eventua-lly got planning permission I was the first person he ran to tell, so that was even more of a reason for me to see it through. But at first I didn’t feel brave enough to continue because there was so much involved. Before George’s death I didn’t know anything about the business so I’ve gone through a huge learning curve and I am very proud of what I have achieved.”

Linda added: “We’ve now moved the business into new premises and it’s just been a huge deal. We were operating next door where the company had grown and developed over the last 25 years.

“It’s actually been a pretty traumatic journey, but by the same token very fulfilling as well, because I feel that I have achieved George’s dream – I hope that he would be proud of me.”

Linda is grateful to her eight employees for their support and hard work, including her son Bradley Dunn and manager Andy Hazelden, who has been pivotal in supporting Linda.

“We moved during the wettest weekend you could have had and it was the most difficult thing that I have done in my life,” said Linda. “But we did it and I have to say the boys were tremendous. They all worked their absolute guts out and I am very proud of them.”

Linda is determined to keep to Headley Tyres’ lowest guaranteed-price promise and said that the cost of the new building will not be borne by customers. Indeed it was partly funded by the company selling land where 27 homes are to be built.

“The prices won’t be affected – we are still going to keep our reputation for being competitive,” vowed Linda.

“The key to Headley Tyres’ success is keeping the prices low, working at a fast and efficient pace and giving great customer service.”