Hugh is from Mirfield, attending local schools, Knowle First School, Battyeford Middle School and Mirfield High School, and sixth form.
After studying GCSE's and A levels he did a BTEC in Motor Vehicle Engineering at Wakefield College before going to work at Cottage Cars on Old bank Road in Mirfield. At this time, Richard Mackwell was the workshop foreman and Hugh worked at Cottage Cars with Richard as well as at the owners other garage, Bridge Garage, on Huddersfield Road in Mirfield.
When Cottage Cars was taken over by new owners in 1995, Richard and Hugh decided to go it alone and set up RPM Auto Service Centre in a shared unit on Union Road in Liversedge next to Autopaint. They quickly outgrew this unit and moved to larger premises on Ashton Clough Road in Liversedge 3 years later. The business continued to expand and in 2009, they began to look for larger premises where they could expand further and open their own MOT bay on site. They moved to larger premises on Walkley Lane in Heckmondwike where they later opened the MOT bay in 2010.