Local businessman awarded freedom of the borough

DavidMannersSmallDavid Manners, local businessman and charity supporter, has been made an Honorary Freeman of Sandwell in recognition of his work in the borough.

In the ceremony at Sandwell Council House, David said: “I was very honoured and excited at being given this honour – it feels like getting an Oscar.”

There can be no doubt of David’s Sandwell roots. He went to Bearwood Primary School and lived on Beakes Road in Smethwick for many years, less than a mile from Drayton Road, where his wife, Janet, grew up.

His business career began in the 1970s after he struggled to find an exhaust for his beloved Daimler Dart. Spotting a gap in the market he set up his own car part dealership, opposite Lightwoods Park. Forty years later and the business is now managed by his daughter, Kate and headquartered on Wolverhampton Road in Oldbury. It employs 60 people and has won a number of awards, including Employer of the Year in 2018. You can read more about the awards in our February news story, and more about the success of the David Manners Group in our #madeinsandwell Monday profile from 2017.

But it’s not just David’s entrepreneurship that has earned him the freedom of the borough. David Manners Group is also in the running for a national award for Social and Corporate Responsibility, and over the years David has supported a number of good causes, including Black Country Women’s Aid, Better Understanding of Dementia for Sandwell, Santa in the Woods at Warley Woods and Thimblemill Library.

David Manners has certainly made a very positive contribution to both the economy and the community in our borough. Think Sandwell wishes him many congratulations on this well-deserved honour.