WORK has started on an expanding Hampshire car sales company’s £9m mega dealership.

The project is Eastleigh as part of expansion plans for automotive group Hendy.

The site in Leigh Road will have showrooms for Kia, Mazda and Honda.

When complete the premises will have 27 new cars on show, space for a further 120 used cars and a 20-bay workshop.

“We are delighted to put our Hampshire expansion plans into action with these three brand new dealerships which are due to open before the end of the year,” said Hendy chief executive Paul Hendy.

As part of the expansion plans the company’s existing Leigh Road facility will be dedicated to Ford products.

The new showrooms are expected to employ 90 people and the project is part of an innovative partnership with Eastleigh Borough Council which will retain ownership of the site as part of its property portfolio.

Mayor of Eastleigh, Maureen Sollitt said, “I’m delighted to officially get this exciting new Hendy car showroom development underway. It brings more business investment into our borough and will provide additional jobs and opportunities for local people.”

She added, “The council has retained ownership of the site and the business premises will provide a significant rental income to the council. I look forward to seeing the development completed later this year and wish Hendy every success with this exciting venture.”

The facility is being built on just over one hectare of land and will incorporate a variety of ‘green’ features including solar panels on the roof, water recycling in the valet bay and electric charge points to meet rising demand from drivers of hybrid and electric cars.

The group currently has 12 franchises in 25 locations and employs more than 1,000 people in Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Devon.

Last year Hendy sold more than 38,900 vehicles and serviced and repaired more than 235,000 vehicles.