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Redundancy unlocks Kevin’s potential

A Sunderland man has unlocked a lifetime dream of working for himself, after voluntary redundancy from his job at Nissan opened the door for him to channel 12 years of skills gained at the car giant’s Wearside plant into his own enterprise.

Kevin Cooke, from Houghton, has set up Ground Lock Property Maintenance and Locksmith Services after undertaking a business start up assistance package from the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).

Kevin Cooke said: “I’ve had an interest in locksmithing since I was a child, and during my career at Nissan I began to combine this with some property development in my spare time. It became something I began to think I could turn into a business, but as I was working full time this was little more than a dream, until I was offered voluntary redundancy.”

Now that he is up and running in business, Kevin has no doubt that the skills he acquired whilst working at Nissan have allowed him to hit the ground running with his new enterprise.

Kevin said: “I always had the ambition to start my own business, but I think Nissan brought about the experience and confidence needed to be ‘pro-active’ in a working environment. Combining this with the business skills gained from the advisers at the BIC has helped me to get off to a flying start.”

Kevin is now looking to slowly build the business and his client base, which already includes letting agents, insurance companies and residential customers.

Chris Craig, Business Adviser at the North East BIC, said: “Kevin’s story is an inspiring one as it proves that sometimes redundancy can be channelled in a positive direction and lead to bright new horizons. His determination and varied skill set are testament to Nissan as I have little doubt his time there has played a major part in their development.”

To find out more about the Chain Links programme, call Kathryn Oliver on 0191 516 6149 or email Kathryn.oliver.

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