FT - Vijay Jaganathan, VST Groups

Vijay Jaganathan, managing director, VST Groups

VST Groups - a Rhondda Cynon Taf business - is set to create up to 10 new jobs following the purchase of two service station sites, following a seven-figure funding package from HSBC UK.

Since acquiring the first site at Efail Isaf Stores in 2016, VST Groups has grown the portfolio to include an additional six sites, five of which were funded with the support of HSBC UK.

The latest purchase adds the 1,350 sq ft Towy service station, near Carmarthen, and the 1,040 sq ft Pensarnau services, near Newcastle Emlyn. The properties were previously owned by long-standing proprietors Kiran and Surendra Patel who recently retired after running the sites for 14 years.

As part of the deal, each site is being redeveloped to meet changing consumer demands, with additional facilities including electric vehicle charging points, free wi-fi, and services offering hot and cold food and snacks, including a Costa Coffee franchise, being added.

In addition to retaining all existing staff across the sites, plans are in place to recruit and train up to 10 new members of the team, on both a full-time and part-time basis with flexible working patterns.

Vijay Jaganathan, managing director of VST Groups, said: “After a remarkable 14 years, the Patels are very deserving of their retirement. I am looking forward to carrying on where they left off bringing a number of new facilities to build on the tremendous potential of the two sites as well as introducing new team members.

“The funding process was straightforward and pain-free. I have banked with HSBC UK since the very beginning and that’s largely down to the great support and advice we have received from our relationship manager, Donagh Kenny.”

Phil Sargeant, area director, Wales, at HSBC UK, added: “We have partnered with VST Groups for many years, and we’re proud to have seen the business grow over the years. This deal will breathe new life into existing sites and is vital in safeguarding and creating jobs locally.

Towy and Pensarnau service stations join the VST Groups portfolio which includes Bryn Gelli, Park Street and Narbeth. The deal follows the self-funded purchase of Park Street service station in Ammanford and is part of wider plans to establish a strong collection of more than 15 sites throughout Wales.