THE boss of an Oldham car repair workshop has told how his business is fighting back after suffering a dip during the coronavirus lockdown.

Owner Richard Fillingham founded Lansdowne Motors in Lansdowne Road, Chadderton, in 2013 and employs six people.

Business fell away several weeks into the lockdown despite his offer to give a 10 per discount to NHS staff - a deal that he is continuing.

"We invoiced 33 customers this week," he told The Oldham Times. "But during the peak of the pandemic in the UK it was nowhere near that.

"But we have accessed the financial support available, and we have the process with Oldham Council very straightforward."

Richard, 42, is a former pupil Royton and Crompton High School and completed his apprenticeship at a Volvo dealership in Oldham.

"Although business was tough, we've worked right through the pandemic and kept a positive attitude. Things are picking up nicely now and our regular customers are back driving again and needing their vehicles maintained."

His positive outlook is reflected in a new study which has found that Oldham is just outside the top 10 most enterprising locations in the UK for business start-ups.

The study looked at the number of companies set up between March 23 and May 30, to see where had the highest number of businesses per head of population.

Oldham was found to be 12th overall, with 306 companies registered, making one business for every 344 people in the town.

Droitwich Spa was found to be the most enterprising, with one business for every 38 people registered during lockdown.

The next most enterprising were Waterloo (one business for every 158 people), Preston (one for every 229) and Manchester (one for every 240)

Of all companies registered since the beginning of lockdown, 29 per cent were found in London

The data was analysed by the team behind global affiliate network, who used the Free Company Data Product by Companies House to conduct the research.

Companies monitored include only corporate body types regulated by legislation relevant to Companies House, and does not include all business types, such as sole traders.

Using this data, the team looked at the registered postal town of each business, and accumulated the results, to find the number of companies registered in each town and city during this period, and looked at the top 50 results.

From there, the population of each location was used to determine the number of lockdown businesses registered per person, to find the most enterprising places in the UK.

In comparison, Portsmouth had one registered business per 1,403 people, while Hull had one for every 1,223, and Plymouth one for every 1,076.

Michele O’Sullivan, business development director UK at Awin, said: “While the pandemic and ensuing lockdown has proved to be one of the most difficult in history for business, we have still seen a remarkable amount of ingenuity and innovation in this period, as shown by the people of Droitwich."