Two independent retailers have switched to the Gulf brand in Cumbria, saying they have been attracted by the company’s understanding of local markets. PV Dobson & Sons in Levens and Rayrigg Motors in Windermere are the latest sites to join the Gulf fraternity in the Cumbrian region,

bringing the total number to six. Rick Edmondson, Gulf area manager, said: "When I joined the company three years ago there was only one Gulf forecourt in Cumbria. Now we have six, with another two in the Kendal area coming on stream in the next few months. Some forecourts may be small in terms of annual fuel turnover, but this doesn’t make them any less important to the local community."

PV Dobson has switched to Gulf after ten years with Texaco, and general manager Chris Hammond says the site is proud to be one of only a few remaining forecourts that still have pump attendants.

He added: "We were attracted to the brand profile that Gulf offers, and being primarily a provider to the village community it was important to us to work with a fuel supplier that understands local markets and can also provide the support we need in this increasingly competitive business."

According to Gulf, the major oil companies are pulling out of the area, leaving retailers concerned about where they will secure future fuel supplies.

Edmondson said: "Other independent dealers in the region are recognising the potential to turn their business around under the Gulf brand."