Former Forecourt Trader of the Year Jonathan James is to exit petrol station operation as his company James Graven & Sons leases its final two forecourts to BP.
BP will take on Witchford Road Service Station in Ely and Wisbech Road Service Station in Littleport, Cambridgeshire at the end of the month, leaving Jonathan and wife Rebecca as landlords of four forecourts. The deal follows their leasing of two sites in Chatteris to Top 50 Indie Petrogas in January this year.
The Ely forecourt is due to shut during the autumn for a major £500,000 re-fit, which will see the petrol pumps replaced and the shop fitted out with a Wild Bean Café and M&S Simply Food offer. The store is expected to be closed for three weeks when the work commences.
Jonathan said he felt sad about the move after 12 years as a forecourt operator. “I’m really gutted because I enjoy the industry so from that point of view it’s devastating but I have decided to free up some of my time to look at other avenues. I’m still chairman of the ACS and involved in industry stuff so while I won’t be a fuel operator, I won’t leave the industry completely – far from it.
“We are delighted that we have secured a BP/Marks and Spencer Simply Food outlet for the city of Ely, the need for which has been talked about for some time locally. We believe that it will prove to be popular with local residents. Our staff will all transfer to BP with no loss of jobs. Our Littleport forecourt will continue to trade as a BP Service Station, again with no loss of jobs.”
Dave Newton, in charge of BP’s UK company owned and franchise petrol stations, said: “The Witchford Road site plays a big part in the local community and we aim to build on the legacy the James Graven group have created as well as bringing the freshness of the M&S and BP Wild Bean Café offers to customers old and new.”