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14 January, 2013

midlands: 2.5mlpa plus

After being named Forecourt Trader of the Year in 2011 with Beehive Service Station in Blackburn, Lancashire, it was no surprise to see Euro Garages shining in the 2012 awards, with the Top 50 Indie's Uttoxeter Services on the A50 in Staffordshire winning Best Midlands Site.

As ever, the quality of the Euro Garages' forecourt offering, both in terms of brands like Spar, Subway, Starbucks, Burger King as well as consistently high standards of service never fails to impress. Salim Hasan, operations manager of Euro Garages, says: "Uttoxeter Services' location and accessibility has also been a major factor in its success. All areas have performed well with strong fuel volumes as well as excellent retail sales. The Starbucks has been incredibly successful."

Euro Garages bought the 7,000sq ft site in 2010 and relaunched it in November 2011 following a five-month £3m regeneration project. It is now a flagship site for the firm, which is currently looking at other services that it could bring to Uttoxeter.


Midlands: up to 2.5mlpa

Symonds Forecourts' Jet-branded site in London Road, Gloucester, which was named Best Midlands Site, has been battling some tough supermarket competition not least from a Tesco Express, which opened last spring and caused an instant 30% loss in trade for the Londis-branded shop.
Symonds has since won back all that business, a feat that managing director Nick Lloyd (pictured left) puts down to the determination and ingenuity of the site's manager. "Tony never sits still he is constantly looking at how we can move the business forward," says Nick. "Tony looked at the strengths within the business and identified alcohol as a strong category. We got a 24-hour alcohol licence and, even with Tesco opening, alcohol sales are up 20% year-on-year, with it now making up 50% of sales at the site, that's a massive improvement."


Northern England: up to 2.5mlpa

G&E Murgatroyd's Townfoot Garage in Alston, Cumbria fought off very stiff competition to win Best Northern England Site.
The Spar wholesaler James Hall's company-owned network is no stranger to these awards with other forecourts in the group winning categories in past awards, and Townfoot Garage certainly impressed the judges this year.
According to Michelle Hall, area manager of G&E, the site has been developed to satisfy the needs of all its customers, from regular local grocery shoppers to in-transit passers-by.
"It is a bright modern store that offers traditional forecourt facilities including customer car parking, customer toilets, car wash facilities alongside hot food to go, chilled beers and wines and a vast range of fresh foods," she says.
"The forecourt has been developed to a high standard and provides our customers with everything they need."


northern england: 2.5mlpa plus

Japanese knotweed, land contamination issues and a protected tree strategically placed in the proposed shop building were just some of the obstacles The Kay Group faced before it could redevelop Formby Service Station in Merseyside, which was named the best site in Northern England in the 'up to 2.5mlpa' category. A previous planning application had also been refused on appeal and there was a strongly campaigned petition by the neighbours. But the Top 50 Indie defied the odds and created a state-of-the-art Texaco-branded forecourt with four jet washes, two fragrance vacuums, mat cleaning, ATM, lots of parking, Spar c-store, Costa offer and Greggs bakery.
Richard Cox, managing director of The Kay Group (left) , says: "Through a very determined, proactive approach to the challenges, including consultations with our neighbours, we secured planning."


When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?