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New forecourt saves 35-mile round trip for fuel

16 January, 2012

Residents of Kielder in Northumberland are celebrating after hearing about plans to re-open the area’s only petrol station. It closed in 2008, leaving the residents with a 35-mile round trip to get fuel.

The £90,000 project to re-open the petrol station gets under way this month with a view to it opening in the spring. It will be operated by Kielder Ltd, a volunteer-run community charity.

The previous petrol station closed because of high running costs. Kielder Ltd chair Tom Grimwood said it was therefore very important they get it right this time and ensure the business is sustainable so it is open for good.

It will be an un-manned forecourt where customers will pay by credit or debit card prior to filling up. It will be open for fuel from 7am to 7pm (with longer opening hours during the summer) seven days a week. There will also be an electric hook-up point later in year.

Steve Webb, who runs Kielder Village Store, said: “Most people expect to be able to fill up on their doorstep as normality but we have just had to manage. This will be a major asset for villagers and tourists alike.

"Without the efforts of Kielder Ltd and Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust this wouldn’t have happened and we would have been just another statistic, another rural business lost. But there was so much determination from core members who were relentlessly dedicated and to them we are incredibly thankful for making this happen.”

Elisabeth Rowark, director of Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, said: “The closure had come at a devastating time because investment in tourism was really beginning to take off. But a lot of tourists were caught short. They ran out of petrol and had to be rescued by the police.

"This is excellent news for the local community and for the hoards of visitors who come to enjoy activities, star gazing, wildlife and events in this spectacular part of Northumberland.”