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GT Tyres, Forres to extend opening hours during week but stop working Saturdays

By Garry McCartney

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Employees Danny Stewart, George Cameron, Gary Black, Wendy Hay and Allan Black are looking forward to Saturdays off.
Employees Danny Stewart, George Cameron, Gary Black, Wendy Hay and Allan Black are looking forward to Saturdays off.

A LOCAL business that has offered a Saturday morning service for nearly 45 years is stopping - on behalf of its staff.

GT Tyres - currently at 15 West Road on the Greshop Industrial Estate - first opened in Forres in 1979 and has been supplying and fitting tyres for six-days-a-week since.

However, owners since 2021, Dave and Joey Philip, want to provide their five full-time staff with a healthier work/life balance.

Dave said: "Our fantastic team is the heartbeat of our service. We've had months of meetings and collected feedback from them - we've agreed closing on Saturdays will give everyone the chance to recharge and enjoy well-deserved time off.

"However, we want to continue to meet the needs of our customers so we are extending our opening hours on weekdays."

The auto-repairs business was launched in 1977 in a small workshop at Newmill near Keith. It moved into Keith three years later, branching out to Forres then Huntly a year later.

The Keith branch was closed in August 2013 and Huntly followed suit in January 2017, concentrating operations in Forres.

The firm, which also deals with exhausts, brakes, suspension and agricultural tyres, was one of the first in Scotland to achieve Michelin accreditation and still holds certified centre status.

George Cameron and Gary Black have worked at the Forres garage since 1987 and 2005 respectively.

George said: "We're the only two remaining from the original GT Tyres. I've always felt it was important to be open on Saturday mornings because we're so busy.

"However, a work/life balance is important these days as is retaining staff - we've a small team and it's important to look after them.

"The owners understand the importance of family time. This isn't a decision that's been made overnight and many factors have been taken into account."

The business will no longer be open on Saturdays from 8.30am-noon but will extend its weekday opening times by 30 minutes-a-day instead.

"We will be open until 5.30pm each night," said George. "Our staff, especially the younger guys, are delighted to no longer be working Saturdays and we're all keen to work the extra half hour-a-day instead.

"We hope our customers understand the reasons for this."

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