Former Top 50 Indie Hockenhull Garages (HGS) has opened a new petrol station and convenience store in South Wigston, Leicester.
It is the first forecourt development for the company’s founder and chairman Peter Hockenhull, since he came out of retirement at the age of 76 to assist in running the business with his son Joe, the managing director.
Peter had sold the majority of his sites to Euro Garages around 10 years ago, but the company has continued to operate – a key part of the business today includes eight Shell cluster sites.
“I’ve been inspired by Joe and operations manager Rob Spooner, who are doing great things together,” explained Peter. “I’ve been playing tennis four times a week, but it was time for a bit more stimulation. It’s good to be back – although it’s definitely a more challenging market. I’m look forward to building a business for the future.”
Earlier this year HGS had the opportunity to acquire the site in Saffron Lane – which had been derelict for many years, but already had planning permission for a forecourt development. The purchase was supported by a HSBC loan which funded part of the acquisition and development costs.
The new site – known as St Peter’s – consists of a Shell garage and Spar convenience store and has created 10 new jobs. HGS has installed state-of-the-art pump islands with four grades on both sides as well as Adblue pump dispensers.
And with an eye on the future, the company has run cables underneath the petrol station so electrical charging points can be installed in the future.
HGS will provide attended service on the forecourt at the weekends as well as a hand car wash operation. The convenience store offer includes hot food, fresh bread and fruit, and the latest Costa coffee machine.
Peter said: “We’ve been looking for an opportunity to open a new petrol station in the Midlands for some time. Thanks to HSBC, we’ve been able to make that happen.”
“We wanted to ensure the new petrol station was fit for the future. By investing in electric and hybrid charging infrastructure we’ll be able to keep up with demand as more and more drivers opt for greener cars.”
Roger Pratt, area director for Corporate Banking at HSBC, said: “HSBC actively supports British businesses and we are pleased to have been able to help HGS expand in the Midlands. Opening the petrol station and convenience store will create more jobs for the area and we’re looking forward to seeing the success of the business.”