A NORTH Tyneside car retailer has celebrated winning a prestigious national award for its innovative use of video as it gears up for further growth following its strongest year in business yet.

Redgate Lodge on New York Road, Shiremoor, took the coveted Best Dealership Use of Video honour at the Car Dealer Used Car Awards in London after impressing the judging panel with its use of online video to make life easier for used car shoppers and improving the overall purchase experience.

All new vehicles arriving at the dealership are professionally filmed as they rotate on a platform with an expert commentary from one of the sales team. These videos can then be viewed by anyone logging on to the dealership’s website at www.redgatelodge.co.uk

Presenting the award to Redgate Lodge directors Scott and Jane Sibley, host and TV personality, Mike Brewer, said: “Our judges were blown away when they checked out Redgate Lodge’s website. Not only does the dealership have a fantastic amount of great quality stock but every single car had its own personalised video.

“Redgate Lodge was the only one of our nominees to do this and that’s really impressive as well as being very useful to potential customers.”

Founded in 2010, Redgate Lodge grew from Scott selling cars on the driveway at his namesake home, Redgate Lodge. Scott and Jane then took a unit in Bedlington and grew the business significantly until moving to its current premises in Shiremoor three years ago.

A new body shop was developed on site at the start of 2016, followed by the Bosch network accredited service, repair and diagnostics centre. Its forecourt now has capacity for up to 130 vehicles and the dealership employs a team of 25.

Speaking after collecting the award, a delighted Scott, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to win this award, particularly as we were up against some very strong competition.

“The way people choose their cars is changing with more and more of the process now conducted online. For an independent business like ours to be leading the way with our approach to video is a real source of pride. Since starting to use videos on our website over a year ago, it has definitely helped our customers to choose the right car for them and we have seen a significant increase in sales as a result.

“Growth is always on our agenda and in 2017, we’ll be looking to build on the success of last year by increasing the size of the team which has rapidly grown to date and a second site may even be in the making.”

As well as using video on its website, Redgate Lodge shares them across its social media channels. Its Facebook page already has over 40,000 likes and social media will continue to be a key part of the company’s business strategy moving forward.

Scott added: “Alongside our website, our social media channels are becoming increasingly important for attracting customers. We are very active on them and have lots of interaction with our customers which is encouraging to see.

“The staff love getting involved with all the videos for social media – it’s great fun and we do a lot for charity as well. We have raised over £7,700 for Cancer Research UK through Facebook and given away two cars to our customers since the page started. We are currently running a competition for a 1985 Volkswagen Golf GTI Convertible!”

For more information about Redgate Lodge, visit the dealership on the New York Road, Shiremoor, call 0191 266 1081, log on to www.redgatelodge.co.uk or like the Facebook pagewww.facebook.com/redgatelodge to enter the car giveaway competitions.