Top 50 Indie Penny Petroleum has added two more filling stations to its estate.

Both sales - Helmington Row Filling Station at Crook, County Durham, and Kip Hill Garage in Stanley, County Durham – were handled by business property adviser Christie & Co, which reported stiff competition for the sites.

Helmington Row Filling Station was marketed at £300,000 for the freehold and attracted several offers.

The site at Kip Hill was closed during the marketing process. The vendor sought offers over £255,000 for the freehold and they received seven offers.

Interest for both filling stations came from a variety of potential purchasers who wanted to change the use to a hand car wash, MOT garage services, car sales, convenience store and also for continued use as petrol filling stations.

Penny Petroleum, which is ranked eighth in the Top 50 Indies, intends to comprehensively refurbish both sites, reopen the fuel sales with the Esso brand offering all grades of fuel, and there will be Londis branded convenience stores with off licenses, Tesco club card and full valeting facilities.

Andrew Birnie, director at Christie & Co who brokered the sales of both stations, said: “These two businesses gave Penny Petroleum the opportunity to acquire two key sites in the region, which will enable them to grow their presence within the North East.

“There is currently stiff competition to purchase petrol filling stations, both in the North East and more generally across the country. Demand for sites like this within the North East and Yorkshire far outstrip supply at present due to entrepreneurs looking to create businesses in strong locations.”