The Blake family plans to turn its Oasis Garage into a community hub with a butchery and other add-on businesses after acquiring neighbouring land

Oasis Garage, renowned for its local charity work, wants to go a step further in supporting its neighbourhood with a major investment developing its Long Riston forecourt into a community hub, with add-on businesses including a butchery.

The Blake family, which owns the site near Hull, doubled its footprint with the acquisition of half an acre of land three months ago. This will allow it to bring in these local businesses, and also to introduce two electric vehicle charging bays – it is in discussions with Certas Energy for its Evolo chargepoint brand – and to increase car parking spaces from 19 to 60. Parking bays are important with 30% of the site’s customers making non-fuel purchases only.

The third generation business, on the A165 Hull to Bridlington main road, is also investing in solar panels, and is planning to extend its Spar store for the fourth time in five years.

Oliver Blake

Oliver Blake at last week’s Forecourt Show: In talks with Certas about installing two Evolo electric vehicle charging bays

The expanded shop will be just under 2,000 sq ft, tripling the size of its food to go section, which includes Costa coffee, Daily Deli hot snacks, Rollover hotdogs, Calippo Slush, and Dunkin’ Donuts. It will also introduce Cheeky Coffee, a James Hall & Co coffee brand only available to Spar northern guild members, as well as milkshakes, a larger hot food counter area, and more thaw and serve goods.

With the 54 ft x 108 ft extension, the business will also introduce walk in chillers and freezers, both 100 sq ft in size, features that will ensure that the shop will not run out of stock, says operations director Oliver Blake, the grandson of the founder.

On the Gulf forecourt, which has four islands of pumps with 16 nozzles, the fuel offer is also being developed, with plans to dispense unleaded, diesel and super unleaded from each bank of four nozzles, and for the installation of another diesel tank, with capacity for 50,000 litres – to reflect that two-thirds of the site’s fuel business comes from diesel. However, Oliver says he is reviewing whether to keep super unleaded.

Last year the business, established in 1960, raised £19,000 for local charities, and Oliver says that by introducing other local businesses on site it will also enhance its customers’ shopping experience.

“We want to be the hub of the community,” said Oliver, 28, who worked at vaping company Liberty Flights as an area sales manager before joining the family business five years ago.

“By adding a butchery and other businesses we are supporting local trades as well as our regular customers,” he said.

“My great grandfather always lived around this area, and we want to give something back by investing in this business.”

The initial cost is in excess of £250,000 for the land, the tank, and extension.The solar panels on the shop and canopy, will be another £60,000. EV chargepoints, still awaiting planning approval, are still to be costed. Oliver hopes that work will be complete this year, followed by the second phase of development of the add-on businesses by the end of next.

Oliver’s ambitions do not stop here. He is on the lookout for further sites, within 40 miles of the existing business, which could include dry options where he would consider bolting on EV chargepoints.