SPAR Willington forecourt

Spar wholesaler and retailer James Hall & Co has opened its 46th forecourt after a £3m investment.

The development at Willington in County Durham comprises a new 3,000 sq ft Spar store and Shell-branded forecourt and has created 27 jobs on the former Park View Garage site on the A690.

The forecourt features six pumps, water, air and vacuum machines, an ATM, and customer parking.

Features in the store, which is James Hall & Co’s 157th company-owned store, include a Graham Eyes Butchers, a Clayton Park Deli, a Cheeky Coffee unit, and a Tango Ice Blast machine, as well as a range of fresh and frozen foods, food to go, major branded products, and beers, wines and spirits.

The mayor of Greater Willington Town Council Ken Henfrey joined deputy mayor Angela Smith and county councillor Olwyn Gunn to open the store with Dominic Hall, deputy managing director, and Fiona Drummond, company stores director, both of James Hall & Co.

A family fun day attended by an estimated 250 people was also held as part of the opening weekend. It featured balloon modelling, face painting, a raffle, and goody bags for children and adults with funds raised going to Spar UK charity partner Marie Curie.

Olwyn Gunn, who represents Willington and Hunwick ward on Durham County Council, said: “Willington has been waiting for this for a long time and I’m delighted to see the Spar store and Shell forecourt bring back to life the derelict garage that was previously here.”

Fiona Drummond said: “We had a tremendous opening weekend in Willington and already feel like part of the village.

“Our offer in-store and on the forecourt is absolutely fantastic in terms of range and value, and the warm reception this has had by the Willington residents reflects this.

“We really are building up quite a cluster of company-owned Spar stores in County Durham with Shotton, Murton, Shildon, Wolsingham, and Darlington already serving communities there.

“We feel we have the right location with the Willington store, and what’s more, there is more to come in County Durham with a Bishop Auckland Spar coming soon which will be a further feather in the cap.”