Category: BMW News

A Bowker Group manager is set to run his first marathon since a snowmobile accident nearly cost him his leg 11 years ago.

In February 2013, Group Implementation Manager Richard Cowell sustained serious injuries, including a six-inch bone-deep gash in his leg, after losing control of a snowmobile and colliding with a tree at approximately 50mph. The accident happened during a trip in Vancouver sponsored by BMW. 

On the 14th of April, Richard from Rawtenstall will compete in the Adidas Manchester Marathon, the UK’s second-largest marathon. Known for its welcoming atmosphere and support for runners of all levels, the event is an ideal platform for Richard’s first-ever marathon challenge.

He hopes to raise funds for Kieran’s Angels, a charity group formed for his friend, Kieran Keigher, which supports cancer research in the UK.

“The accident happened a long time ago now. I’ve fully recovered. But, if you’d asked me ten years ago about running a marathon – I’d have thought you were mad. But here I am. I’ve been training hard and am optimistic I can finish the race. 

“More importantly than the personal challenge, I want to raise as much money as possible for an important cause. I received great medical care when I needed it ten years ago. I’m very grateful for that. If taking on the marathon challenge helps others – even in a small way – it’s a simple way I  can show my gratitude.”

Back in 2013, despite doctors advising a twelve-week recovery period, Richard returned to work after just four weeks. The accident left him with injuries that posed a significant threat to his mobility.

BMW has continued its impressive run at the coveted Fleet News Awards, securing the Fleet Manufacturer of the Year title for the sixth consecutive year in 2024. This achievement is particularly significant as the award is voted for by Fleet News readers, who are certified fleet decision-makers, reflecting the brand’s strong reputation across the wider sector.

The award ceremony was held on the 13th of March at Grosvenor House in London, where the achievements of the fleet industry were celebrated in style. In addition to the Manufacturer of the Year accolade, BMW also triumphed in individual vehicle categories. The BMW i4 claimed the Best Premium Car title, acknowledging its leading position in the premium electric vehicle market and its appeal to corporate customers and company car drivers.

Furthermore, the new BMW 5 Series was named Best Executive Car, solidifying its position as a leading choice for business users in the UK. Launched in October 2023, the eighth-generation BMW 5 Series fuses advanced technology with an elegant and sporting saloon style, generous space, and exceptional refinement. The BMW 5 Series offers a choice of powertrains – petrol, plug-in hybrid, and the all-electric BMW i5, providing fleet customers complete flexibility depending on the needs of their drivers.

Matt Collins, General Manager of Corporate Sales at BMW UK, said, “We are immensely proud to be recognised once again as Fleet Manufacturer of the Year, and I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Fleet News and its readers for their continued support and recognition. We are also delighted to receive individual accolades for the BMW i4 and 5 Series. These awards are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team and our commitment to delivering vehicles that meet the evolving needs of the fleet sector.”

The Fleet News Awards are well-known for their meticulous judging process and focus on real-world fleet usage, thanks to a panel of industry-leading judges, making BMW’s continued success at these awards a testament to the brand’s leadership in the fleet sector.

For further information on BMW’s award-winning fleet and corporate offerings, please visit

Bowker BMW and Ribby Hall Village have confirmed a two-year sustainability partnership extension. 

The relationship began 12 years ago, in 2011. It began with a shared commitment to sustainability that continues today. The partnership extension includes an all-electric BMW iX1, a courtesy vehicle for the Village.

Located in Wrea Green, Ribby Hall Village emphasises sustainable business practices. Ribby Hall Village is a previous winner of the title Green Business of the Year. The Village’s initiatives include promoting energy efficiency, supporting local businesses, and working to divert all its waste away from landfills. Their aim is to maximise recycling efforts.

Bowker, meanwhile, received a national BMW UK Retailer Award for the car centre’s commitment to sustainability in 2023. The family-owned business invested almost £2 million in sustainability initiatives in 2022 alone and appointed an Energy Champion to help reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

Jonathan Rogan, head of business for Bowker BMW, said: “Bowker and Ribby Hall Village are a great example of two local Lancashire businesses creating value for customers the right way. For Bowker, that means looking after the environment. The emission-free BMW iX1 is a great vehicle choice for Ribby Hall Village.”

The partnership between Bowker BMW and Ribby Hall Village centres on a shared commitment to sustainability. Both parties have agreed on actions that reflect their shared goals for environmentally conscious operations.

John McIlwham, director at Ribby Hall Village, said: “The fact that our partnership with Bowker has lasted for 12 years speaks volumes about our relationship together. When businesses that share the same values come together, we can work together and inspire each other to improve continually. The BMW iX1 will be used for our guests.”

The Corporate Key Account Manager at Bowker BMW has become one of the first in the country to achieve a new BMW Corporate Certified and Business Sales Skills certificate. 

Sue Singleton, who works for Bowker BMW with centres in Blackburn and Preston, was originally in the very first cohort and completed accreditation with the second cohort and is one of the first 23 corporate experts in the UK BMW network to achieve the certification. 

This certification is part of the Corporate Certified programme launched in January 2023. The new accreditation focuses on improving the corporate customer buying experience across the BMW and MINI retailer network. 

Sue’s training covered a rigorous programme designed by BMW UK to help certified retailers focus on the corporate customer experience. The result will benefit BMW owners with a uniform customer journey and establish quantifiable benchmarks.

Sue Singleton, Corporate Key Account Manager at Bowker BMW, said: “The training covered many diverse areas of my corporate role. Everything from finance to the way electric vehicles are transforming the customer experience. I learned a lot. We always set ourselves high standards. However, achieving the latest certificate guarantees that Bowker corporate customers will receive the highest standard of service.”

Richard Cowell, Group General Sales Manager, said: “Congratulations to Sue on becoming one of the first in the country to achieve the new certification. I know how hard she has worked and she deserves this success. The Corporate Certified programme is a significant step in our commitment to delivering exceptional service in the corporate vehicle sales sector. With her accreditation, Sue will now play a crucial role in delivering the high customer experience and business sales standards for which Bowker is renowned.”

BMW UK has introduced the initiative to distinguish BMW in the corporate sector. The training included detailed insights on the increasing mix of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), which typically require more intensive customer interaction. 

Training is a crucial element of the new Corporate Certified programme, with courses provided at the BMW Group Academy near Reading. This training aims to enhance knowledge and understanding of the corporate sector. 


Bowker BMW is already a Corporate Certified Retailer. This means the centre commits to providing enhanced service and support tailored to fleet managers, company car drivers, and leasing companies.

The centre promises industry-leading response times to enquiries, with service online requests answered within five minutes. For repairs, the team commits to triage within 24 hours to support parts ordering and technician requirements, with follow-up appointments scheduled within seven working days or three days if a warning light is showing.

The centre offers both collection and local delivery options for new cars, ensuring a premium handover experience with minimal delivery emissions.


Staff at Bowker BMW have donated over 50 gifts to The Wish Centre – a refuge for women and children affected by domestic abuse

The gift collection focused on a ‘Gifting Tree’ in the reception area at Bowker BMW on Trident Way in Blackburn. The tree was decorated with tags, each featuring information about a current resident of The Wish Centre. 

Visitors and staff were encouraged to take a tag and replace it with a present for the individual, described as a gesture of support and goodwill. 

For Bowker BMW managing director Chris Eccles said: “This initiative is a meaningful way for our community to directly support those in need, especially during the festive season. We hope that the simple act of giving a gift will help to spread some seasonal goodwill for the lives of the residents at The Wish Centre”

The Wish Centre’s primary goal is to provide assistance to those who have experienced or are at risk of domestic abuse. This includes offering support, advice, and accommodation, as well as working with victims and their families to ensure safety and aid in their overall development and well-being.

For the Wish Centre, Rebekah Wilson said: “We are very grateful for Bowker BMW’s support. The centre aims to empower and assist individuals affected by domestic abuse to grow and reach their full potential. The support from initiatives like the Gifting Tree is a step in the right direction, especially at a time when support from those closest to us is so important.”

For more information about The Wish Centre and its services, visit

Staff from Bowker BMW in Preston have joined forces to donate presents to this year’s ‘Give a Gift’ campaign. The campaign, organised by the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity, aims to provide Christmas gifts to patients in hospital during the festive season.

The ‘Give a Gift’ campaign runs every Christmas to ensure that all Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital patients of all ages receive a gift on Christmas Day. The campaign’s primary goal is to offer comfort and a sense of community to those in hospital during a period traditionally spent with family.

Bowker director Jonathan Rogan said: “The ‘Give a Gift’ campaign is a great idea. We were pleased to support hospital patients facing challenging times during the holiday season. It struck a chord with Bowker staff, too. Everyone got involved with many generous donations.”

Stagecoach donated a bus for the charity team to visit Bowker and other workplaces, businesses, and schools to collect gifts from across Preston and beyond. The items they collected included gift sets, toiletries, books, stationery, and children’s toys – a little bit of everything for patients of different ages and needs.

In addition to physical gifts, the charity also welcomed monetary donations, suggesting a contribution of £5.00 to fund a gift for a patient. This aspect of the campaign provided an alternative means for individuals to contribute, broadening the participation base.

From Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity, Dan Hill, Head of Charities, said: “Thank you to Bowker BMW and their staff for supporting this year’s ‘Give a Gift’ campaign. The generosity of businesses and the wider community greatly affects our efforts. No one chooses to be in hospital at Christmas. So, a gift can help to let patients know we’re thinking about them. It’s not just about the gifts, but the message of care and compassion.”

Once donated, the charity carefully manages the distribution of gifts in collaboration with clinical staff. This means the right gifts are distributed to the correct wards. Last year’s ‘Give a Gift’ supplied over 800 gifts to patients.

From everyone here at Bowker BMW, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We’re here for you at the following times over the festive period:

Saturday 23 December
Sales 9.00am to 5.00pm | Aftersales 8:30am – 12:30pm

Sunday 24 – Tuesday 26 December

Wednesday 27 – Friday 29 December
Sales 8.30am to 6.00pm | Aftersales 8:00am – 5:30pm

Saturday 30 December
Sales 9.00am to 5.00pm | Aftersales 8:30am – 12:30pm

Saturday 31 December – Monday 1 January

Tuesday 2 January
Sales 8.30am to 6.00pm | Aftersales 8:00am – 5:30pm


To make an enquiry or request a call back, please Click Here or complete the enquiry form on this page.

Bowker Motor Group in Blackburn and Preston has appointed a new Group Buyer.

Paul Hattersley from Bolton joins with buying responsibilities for BMW and MINI centres. Paul will source pre-owned BMWs and MINIs, ensuring the best choice for Bowker customers.

Paul joins Bowker Motor Group from Swansway Group, where he has been the Used Car Sales Manager since 2019. He brings almost 20 years of experience to the role at Bowker with an automotive retail career spanning several key positions. Paul has enjoyed key sales and management roles at Perrys Peugeot, Williams MINI Bolton and Marshall Mercedes in Bolton.

Paul said: “I am thrilled to join Bowker Motor Group as the Used Car Group Buyer for Bowker BMW and MINI. I live locally and know all about the well-known Bowker family from working in the automotive sector for so long. It’s an exciting new chapter in my career, and I’m looking forward to working alongside the Bowker team.”

Paul’s group role will see the group buying function integrated across the Preston and Blackburn sites. This follows a similar successful change to Bowker sales, which was restructured in 2021 to develop key management roles with Group responsibilities. 

Bowker director Chris Eccles said: “We are delighted to welcome Paul Hattersley to our team at Bowker Motor Group. His extensive experience and expertise in the automotive industry, especially in luxury car sales, make him an invaluable addition to our group. 

“Paul has an exciting new role. We have already seen the benefits of creating group roles in car sales. With Paul’s expert lead, we now expect to streamline our buying processes and maximise value for the group.”

Away from work, Paul coaches his daughter’s football team, and he is a Bolton Wanderers season ticket holder.

The BMW Vision Neue Klasse – The future of BMW. Featuring a clear, elegant and timeless in its design, with large surfaces, distinctive lines, all reduced to the essentials. A fresh interpretation of the brand’s signature design elements transform the look of the vehicle, such as the kidney grille and headlights. 3D animated lighting effects provide intuitive interaction between the owner and the vehicle when they approach the car

“The BMW Vision Neue Klasse combines our ability to innovate in the core areas of electrification, digitalisation and circularity,” says Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “In this way, we are always able to stay two steps ahead of the future: The Neue Klasse is already bringing the mobility of the next decade to the roads in 2025 – and leading BMW into a new era.

The next generation BMW iDrive features the new BMW Panoramic Vision, 3D Head-Up Display and a multifunction steering wheel, meaning the BMW Vision Neue Klasse has the most innovative and BMW yet.

With the user in the forefront of BMW’s mind, the BMW Vision Neue Klasse is more than ahead of its time. It represents the leap into a new age. And combines the latest innovations to produce an unforgettable experience.

One of Bowker Preston BMW’s most popular staff members has retired a matter of months before his 20-year milestone with the company.

Popular with staff and customers alike, Eoghan Gilbert was one of the most familiar faces at the aftersales reception at Bowker BMW in Preston. Bringing a perfect blend of humour and efficiency to the aftersales role, Eoghan was also renowned for organising staff charity challenges, including a recent 24-mile 5200-feet climb in around 12 hours and raising over £4,000 for St Catherine’s Hospice. 

Eoghan joined Bowker BMW in Preston in March 2004 as a Service Advisor before swiftly making his mark as a Senior Service Advisor, becoming one of the most recognisable members of the team for 19 years and 4 months. Prior to joining Bowker BMW, the former Darwen Vale High School student served as a service Advisor at Jacksons Mercedes Jersey and a Trade Advisor at Baxi Clean Air. 

Now, Eoghan plans to take a breather from the automotive retail industry and make more time for wife Karen, to travel and to enjoy long walks with his pet dogs. Best wishes to Eoghan on his well-deserved retirement and the very best in all his future endeavours.

Lancashire-based Bowker BMW received a visit from Graham Biggs, the BMW UK communications director, for an official staff presentation of the first-ever BMW UK Sustainability Award. 

The award, which recognises Bowker BMW’s unwavering commitment to sustainability, was initially announced at a ceremony in Liverpool as part of the national BMW UK Retailer Awards in January. 

The award also reflects Bowker BMW’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and the family-owned business’s substantial financial investment of nearly £2 million in sustainability initiatives during 2022.

Statistics reflect the tangible impact of Bowker BMW’s commitment. The company has successfully reduced paper transactions and communications by 95%, demonstrating its commitment to minimising waste. Additionally, Bowker has appointed an Energy Champion to explore innovative ways of further reducing their environmental impact.

Bowker BMW’s sustainability journey began in 2007 with the launch of the “Bowker SOS” (Switch Off Something) initiative – an initiative inspired by the energy crisis of 1973, aimed to reduce energy consumption. The Group has since implemented various recycling programs and environmentally friendly practices. Only last month, Bowker BMW and MINI centres in Blackburn and Preston have taken another step towards sustainable energy use by installing 1600 new solar panels across their dealership roofs.

Chris Eccles, Director of Bowker BMW, said: “Thank you to BMW UK for taking the time to visit the centre to present this prestigious award. We are proud that BMW has acknowledged our commitment to sustainability nationally. At Bowker, we take our responsibility to minimise our impact on the environment seriously. And we want to lead by example.”

Bowker BMW’s dedication to sustainability extends beyond environmental initiatives. The company prioritises social value and continuously strives to improve working conditions for employees. They invest in new showers, changing facilities, and sourcing uniforms from sustainable suppliers.

Furthermore, Bowker has established long-standing partnerships with local colleges, offering scholarship and apprenticeship programs for over 15 years. This commitment ensures the growth and development of the industry by providing valuable opportunities for apprentices and students interested in the motor trade.

The visit of the BMW UK communications director to Bowker BMW emphasises the significance of the Group’s achievements and collaboration. It showcases the positive impact that businesses can have on the environment and their local communities, inspiring others to prioritise sustainability.

We are delighted to have officially switched on 1600 new solar panels across our dealership roofs in Blackburn and Preston. 

The new panels will allow our Centres to generate a quarter of our electricity from solar energy and reduce their carbon footprint by 130 tonnes!

The official solar panel switch-on was in recognition of Earth Day on Saturday, 22 April 2023. 

Our Director, Jonathan Rogan, said: “It was perfect timing that Earth Day followed so soon after installing the new panels. We officially celebrated the switch on and joined other businesses across the globe to raise awareness of climate issues.

“Our new investment will significantly impact reducing our carbon footprint. As a company, we’re committed to leading the way in environmentally-friendly business practices. And we hope to inspire our staff, customers and others in the community about important environmental issues.”

Bowker has invested in sustainable energy before. In 2012, our Blackburn dealership installed 210 solar panels, making it the first car dealership in Lancashire to adopt solar energy. Since then, these panels have saved the company money and reduced carbon emissions by 500 tonnes.

Our ongoing commitment to sustainability was also recognised by BMW UK after recently receiving the first-ever National BMW UK Retailer Award for Sustainability. Read more here.

Earth Day is an annual event promoting environmental protection and raising awareness about our planet’s threats. This day is marked by various activities such as rallies, community clean-ups, and educational programs to encourage people to take action to protect the environment. 

Bowker BMW has partnered with Preston North End’s Community and Education Trust to spread some Easter joy for children who benefit from the trust’s work across Preston.

The campaign will distribute Easter eggs to low-income families, food banks, and some participants in the most deprived areas of Preston.

The Easter eggs will be distributed in the lead-up to Easter, over the Easter weekend. They will also be given out at Preston North End’s home fixture against Reading on Easter Monday. 

Jonathan Rogan, director at Bowker BMW, was happy to support the initiative. He said: “We know what a great job the Preston North End’s Community and Education Trust do for local people. That’s why we were only too happy to donate these Easter eggs. As a business, we are committed to supporting our local community. We hope this donation will bring a smile to the faces of friends and neighbours in local communities who need it most.”

Community Partnerships Co-ordinator Brad North for PNE Community and Education Trust said: “We really appreciate the donation from Bowker BMW. It allows us to provide Easter Eggs to those most in need at this time of year. They will be distributed locally. From previous years we know that children who receive the eggs will love the Bowker donation.”

The PNE Community and Education Trust deliver initiatives that create safer, stronger, and more resilient communities. It also provides educational programs in sport, enterprise, and citizenship to support children who may face challenges with traditional learning environments.

BMW Group UK has added Pod Point as a preferred EV home chargepoint supplier for BMW retail customers, further enhancing home charging services for retail customers.

The three-year agreement will see BMW customers purchasing a new electrified vehicle at a franchise retailer offered the option of home charger consultation and installation by Pod Point’s expert team. Over 3,800 BMW customers have already installed a Pod Point home charger. All home installations benefit from a three-year Pod Point warranty included as standard.

The Pod Point app’s charge activity monitoring feature provides vehicle owners with insights into energy usage, enabling them to determine how much energy they are using to charge their vehicle and the electricity cost over a specified period.

This new partnership will also provide BMW customers with increased access to public charging infrastructure with the inclusion of Pod Point’s extensive network in the BMW Charging service.  As a result, in addition to the 14,000+ UK chargepoints already offered to customers through included networks (including bp pulse and IONITY), Pod Point bring over 6,200 additional charging bays thereby increasing BMW Charging access to over 70%* coverage across the UK.

Daniel Elliott, eMobility Product Manager at BMW UK said “We’re really pleased to announce our new relationship with Pod Point.  They excel at providing reliable, easy to use home charging products with a proven reputation for delivering outstanding customer service.  Furthermore, the inclusion of Pod Point’s public charging network within BMW Charging further cements BMW’s focus on creating easy and convenient access to public charging, anywhere, using just the BMW Charging Card or My BMW App.”

Commenting on the partnership, Erik Fairbairn, Founder and CEO of Pod Point said: “We’re delighted to be working with BMW as a preferred chargepoint supplier. BMW has won praise for having some of the best electric cars on the market with its models consistently lauded for efficiency and range, and we’re excited about the electric vehicles it will bring to market in the coming months.”

The partnership supports BMW Group’s transformation towards sustainable mobility. This year, including pre-production vehicles, BMW Group will already have 15 fully-electric models in production and by the end of 2025, the company will have more than two million fully-electric vehicles on the road, worldwide.

Bowker BMW enjoyed a successful Lancashire Business Expo 2023, which took place on Friday, March 24th, at the Preston Guild Hall. The event drew in over 1,600 attendees, and Bowker BMW was one of the more than 120 exhibitors offering their services.

At the expo, Bowker BMW provided valuable information on the benefits of electric and hybrid fleets, including details on EV range, performance, and cost savings. In addition, their team of experts was available to provide one-on-one consultations and answer questions.

Marketing manager for Bowker BMW, Amy Lancaster-Hall, expressed her delight with the event, saying, “What a great event! The Lancashire Business Expo is always a fantastic opportunity to meet other local businesses. Thank you to Shout Expo for their hard work, and congratulations on delivering another memorable event.”

The Director of Shout Expo, Jordan Conlin, also praised the event, saying, “This year’s LBE was off the scale – so much fun. Preston Guild Hall was buzzing. We’re all exhausted, but we’re already excited about 2024! A huge thanks to all our partners and exhibitors who made the expo such a huge success and to the visitors who came along to see what the fuss is all about and give our exhibitors the chance to showcase their services.”

The Lancashire Business Expo has become a significant annual event for local businesses, providing opportunities for networking, interactive activities, and exhibition stands. To learn more about this year’s event and see reactions, search for #LBE2023 across social media channels.

Win a 24-hour test drive in the BMW iX and a luxury night stay for two at the blissful SPA Hotel at Ribby Hall.

This Mother’s Day, Bowker BMW are offering you the opportunity to enjoy an overnight stay for two including breakfast and an aqua-thermal journey at The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village*. The adult-only luxury 4 star Spa Hotel located in more than 100 acres of beautiful Lancashire countryside has so much to offer. But that’s not all, you could also be enjoying the drive of the new BMW iX with a 24 hour test drive to coincide with your Spa Hotel stay. With onsite charging points, why not put the iX on charge whilst recharging your batteries with an Aqua Thermal Journey. Voted the UK’s Best Day Spa and a must-do experience, this two hour journey will have you feeling relaxed, restored and ready for drive away in the BMW iX. So why not enter to win this amazing prize.

For your chance to win, simply enter our competition by completing the following steps:

Enter on Facebook

Enter on Instagram

  • Like, Comment and Share our competition post on Bowker BMW Instagram
Good luck!
Bowker BMW, BMW iX & Ribby Hall Spa Hotel Competition Entry Terms and Conditions.
The prize is an overnight luxury spa break with breakfast and Aqua Thermal Journey for two people at The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall with use of a BMW iX. Dates are subject to availability. The prize is valid until the end of 2023. All additional costs incurred at Ribby Hall, including drinks and refreshments, are at the winner’s expense. Once booked, the date cannot be exchanged, nor any equivalent cash value refunded.
The loan of the BMW iX is subject to the following conditions:
– Mileage must not exceed 250 miles in total
– The age of the driver must be between 25 and 70 years old
– Any speeding, traffic offences or parking fines will be the responsibility of the Prize Winner
– Smoking is not permitted in the vehicle
– For insurance purposes, the Prize Winner must not have 6 or more points on their license or have been disqualified from driving in the last three years
– The vehicle must be returned to Bowker in the condition in which it was collected
– Vehicle to be collected from and returned to either Bowker Preston or Bowker Blackburn
– Model subject to availability
– No cash alternative
Bowker Motor Group, WH Bowker and Ribby Hall employees and family members are excluded from entering. Competition closes Sunday 19 March 2023 and the winner will be announced on Monday 20 March 2023 via Facebook or Instagram direct message. For a valid entry, entrants must have liked, commented and shared the competition post. This promotion is in no way endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook.