Barnstaple's ilab celebrates runner up spot at Mobile Industry Awards

North Devon Gazette

The ilab in Barnstaple is celebrating after being named one of the top two best mobile phone repair services at the Mobile Industry Awards in London.Â

The independent High Street store took the runner up spot in the Best Repair Service category on Wednesday night (September 29) at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, pipped at the post by industry leader iSmash.Â

The ilab was nominated for the award after tireless community work during lockdown including an appeal to collect iPads for local schools to help home learners, plus a ‘goodwill service’ and donations for North Devon Hospice which raised £3,000.Â

The store also celebrates its 10th anniversary this year so owners Paul and Jane Selvey splashed out to take seven of their staff to the lavish awards night as a thank you for their hard work during the pandemic.Â

Jane said it had been an ‘amazing’ evening with more than 500 guests from the UK’s best mobile businesses.Â

She added: “We were extremely proud to fly the flag for Devon at this national event.Â

“While we are disappointed we didn’t win; we are honoured to be the runner up for the UK’s best repair service.”Â

Paul said: “We’re over the moon and really chuffed, it’s a great achievement.Â

“It was the technicians and the guys from the shop that have made this achievement possible so they needed to be there and enjoy the evening as well.Â

“The event was really professionally done and a lot of the industry big hitters were there, but there was also good representation from independents and smaller businesses such as ourselves.”Â

The ilab was one of the first repair centres in the UK and now employs 10 staff, repairing and selling smartphones and tablets.Â

When the pandemic hit, the business switched to a door-to-door repair service and later launched an appeal for donated iPads, which it repaired for free and gave to local schools for children who had no other means of learning at home.Â

Jane said the appeal had been a great success, with almost 100 tablets collected and donated.Â