MILLIONS of pounds will be invested in transforming an empty car dealership, a motoring tycoon has announced.

Earlier this year, car sales giant Lookers launched a bid to open a new Volvo showroom at the former Underwoods Skoda site in Wyncolls Road, Colchester, which closed in March.

Colchester Council has now given Lookers the green light and bosses say the firm is investing £2.5million to create its new “standout” dealership, which is expected to open before the end of the year.

The new Volvo showroom will feature the manufacturer’s signature lounge area, a spacious environment where customers can relax.

Gazette: Empty - Underwoods Skoda closed in MarchEmpty - Underwoods Skoda closed in March (Image: Newsquest)

The dealership will be designed for a sustainable future, incorporating eco-friendly features like eight electric vehicle chargers and solar panels.

Franchise director David Cooper says the new showroom marks “a new milestone” for the firm’s growth across Essex, with Lookers investing a further £2.3million in refurbishing its existing Chelmsford site, which is expected to re-open early next year.

Bosses have promised the new location will offer a “streamlined service to car owners” which is set to halve waiting times.

Chief operating officer Duncan McPhee added: “Lookers is delighted to be further investing in Volvo in an exciting new location in the city that will deliver an outstanding customer experience for visitors right across Essex and beyond.

“It underlines our commitment to our strengthening relationship with Volvo and our determination to be the UK’s number one choice for all-electric driving, advice and aftersales service.”

Gazette: Vision - what the new showroom could look likeVision - what the new showroom could look like (Image: Lookers)

Lookers Volvo is currently based in Cowdray Avenue and the existing site will remain open until work is completed at the new Wyncolls Road site, which has remained empty since the Skoda showroom closed in March.

Underwoods also closed the neighbouring Vauxhall and Kia dealerships, with the firm citing “changing times within the motor industry”.

Rival firm John Banks Group snapped up the former Vauxhall site, opening a Honda showroom in its place and taking over the Mazda franchise, which was also previously held by Underwoods.

Kia also made a quick return to the city, with competitor Glyn Hopkin opening a dealership in nearby Ipswich Road just days after the Underwoods branch closed in May.