The first of the MRH/Co-op trial sites opened yesterday – in High Road, Eastcote, west of Greater London.

It was officially opened by children from a local primary school during an open day attended by local dignitaries and executives from MRH and Lone Star, the US private equity firm that bought MRH in January 2016.

MRH chief executive Karen Dickens said it was quite an emotional day for her, bringing together her previous role in ExxonMobil overseeing the launch of the Synergy fuel brand “and the first big deal from an MRH perspective”.

“This represents an interim point in the MRH strategy,” she said. “A lot has happened in the past year. Since I joined in March 2016 we have put in place a new management team and a new three-pillar strategy.”

As well as the modern Co-op convenience store, the completely redeveloped site features a spacious Esso forecourt with parking, and the new shard bearing the ‘MRH driving retail logo’.

Two weeks ago Top 50 Indie MRH announced it had signed an agreement with the Co-op to pilot a new franchise convenience store at seven MRH sites across the UK.

The next MRH/Co-op site will be opened in Streatham in June, and the other five will be completed by August.

MRH is number one in Forecourt Trader’s Top 50 Indies with a total of 480 sites across the UK.