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Double delight for Steve in bodyshop awards

Steve Plunkett, second right, with the Volvo team which won manufacturer of the year for the third year running in the Bodyshop magazine awards. Picture: Bodyshop magazine

Steve Plunkett, second right, with the Volvo team which won manufacturer of the year for the third year running in the Bodyshop magazine awards. Picture: Bodyshop magazine

Bodyshop magazine

The highly-prized Bodyshop magazine awards, seen as the most prestigious in the industry, saw local people’s and business’s success and achievements recognised.

Volvo body and paint programme development manager Steve Plunkett, second right, receives his outstanding achievement award in the Bodyshop magazine awards. Picture: Bodyshop magazine Volvo body and paint programme development manager Steve Plunkett, second right, receives his outstanding achievement award in the Bodyshop magazine awards. Picture: Bodyshop magazine

A vehicle body repair specialist from Norfolk is celebrating double success in the Bodyshop magazine national awards.

The accolades are heralded as the most prestigious and respected honours within the sector, recognising real ambassadors of the industry.

The 21st Bodyshop magazine awards saw Steve Plunkett, Volvo body and paint programme development manager at Volvo Car UK, and his team win the vehicle manufacturer of the year award for Volvo’s continued development of its repair programme and its high standards with the support of its network of 80 Volvo-approved bodyshop across Britain.

The achievement was all the sweeter as it saw Volvo win the title for the third year running, the first hat-trick of successive awards.

And, to cap that success, Mr Plunkett, from East Bilney, near Dereham, won the outstanding achievement award for making tremendous strides in continuing to place his sector’s cause at the forefront of industry thinking and helping to secure Volvo’s awards hat-trick.

Mr Plunkett said: “We have worked incredibly hard, so to get that recognition one year, two years, three years running is fantastic. It’s great for the brand and great for the bodyshops that support us.”

He said of his personal award: “I was absolutely knocked sideways. It was a absolute honour to be presented with such an accolade. It is nice to have all the hard work and achievement recognised by your peers.”

Mr Plunkett, who has been in the body repair business for 40 years, started working at his father’s used car business at Wroxham doing body repairs and moved into bodyshop management after 12 years on the shop floor. A former manager of East Bilney Coachworks, he then worked with various manufacturers on body and paint programmes before joining Volvo five years ago and building it scheme.

Glen Hall, of Nationwide Gladwins at Thetford, won paint technician of the year with Paul Reeder, of Hammond Accident Repair Centre at Halesworth, also a finalist.

East Bilney Coachworks at Great Yarmouth, was a finalist in the medium bodyshop of the year category while its manager, Chris Browne, was a finalist in bodyshop manager of the year.

Mark Hadaway, editor of Bodyshop magazine – the automotive accident repair industry’s leading monthly independent publication, said: “The Bodyshop awards are the only truly independent awards for the industry and, as such, are a highly-coveted prize.

“An expert panel follows an exhaustive and in-depth process of selection to identify the winners and it’s our privilege to recognise those who have achieved something truly special in the last 12 months.”

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Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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