A Bridgend garage which lost £10,500 worth of equipment at the hands of thieves is bouncing back in the best way possible, after teaming up with one of the nation's biggest fast fit networks.

Waterton Tyre Services has become the latest business to join forces with the HiQ fast fit network and is now boasting the famous black and white branding above its forecourt, following a £60,000 investment.

The garage, based in Waterton Industrial Estate, was robbed at the start of the year after just five months of trading in the town.

But far from feeling sorry for themselves, owner Rod Cowling and his wife have invested £60,000 into the premises and joined forces with HiQ in a bold attempt to battle back.

The HiQ fast fit network approached Rod directly after spotting the potential of his centre as the brand moves closer to its target of opening 300 stores across the UK by 2014.

Rod said: "We are delighted to bear the HiQ name and think this partnership will represent a new chapter for us all in Bridgend.

"We were hit badly by the thieves but we do see a bright future for us here, which is why we have moved to work with HiQ, as a franchisee of their network.

"HiQ actually approached us as they said there was no other garage in the premises that offered such an impressive frontage, large car park and spacious waiting area.

"We think that our local knowledge coupled with the national strength of the HiQ brand will be the perfect combination for a successful future."

And in a further boost for the new HiQ garage, Rod' chief mechanic Rhys Eskins has just gained his Automotive Technician Accreditation, becoming one of the first in the region to do so.

Regulated by the Institute of Motor Industry, ATA is a regulatory programme that commits technicians to an ethical code of conduct and is regarded as the most prestigious qualification in the fast fit industry.

Rhys, aged 26, passed the programme which requires a theory based module and then practical assessments specific to their field of expertise.

He is now listed on the ATA website which allows consumers to search for their nearest garage with registered technicians, giving peace of mind that work will be carried out correctly. Regional franchise manager Mark Widdows said: "We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Rod in Bridgend, not to mention Rhys's achievement.

"To boast a presence in the town is a big coup for us as a network and we think that with Rod's dedicated team of technicians, we can look forward to an extremely bright future."

HiQ Bridgend offers a range of services to motorists including a complete range of tyres, exhausts, batteries, brakes and shocks and would welcome anyone to call or drop in for a consultation.

Mark Widdows and Rod Cowling