A couple from Stevenage are now running their own forecourt after securing six-figure funding from Bank of Scotland Corporate.

Wendy Bamford had worked for a housing association while her husband James was a commercial car fitter when they both decided they wanted to run their own business. With the help of Bank of Scotland, they purchased Robert Dartnell Motors, on the Peterborough Road adjacent to the A1073 in Peterborough, and renamed it Crowland Service Station. It has four pumps, a newly-extended and refitted Mace Express convenience store, a workshop, an MOT bay and on-site accommodation.

James, who has taken a full MOT testing course, runs the garage, while Wendy manages the petrol station and shop. They also employ five shop staff and are supporting a trainee mechanic through his apprenticeship.

"We enjoyed our old jobs but now we can spend more time together as a couple, albeit in the workplace. We work longer hours but at least we are our own bosses," said Wendy. She added that Bank of Scotland had been excellent in helping them with the purchase. "The bank looked beyond our experience and considered the effort and detail we’d put into our business plan."

Denise Andrew, relationship manager at Bank of Scotland, added: "Wendy and Jim are working extremely hard to make the service station a success. They want to serve their local community not only as a petrol station but also with the added extras of the servicing workshop and convenience store."