A remote community-run petrol station in the West Highlands of Scotland is now offering petrol 24 hours a day,
seven days a week thanks to the installation of pay@pump machines.
Funding from the Big Lottery Fund, the Scottish Rural Development Programme and the Applecross Trust has enabled the Applecross Community Company (ACC) in Applecross, which runs the site, to refurbish it and put in the pumps.
Chair of the ACC, Alison MacLeod, said the application for funding to the Big Lottery Fund weighed almost 1kg but it was worth the effort as it paid out more than £20,000 to the enterprise. The Scottish Rural Development Programme gave £15,000 and the Applecross Trust, £5,000.
"We did not have a high enough turnover to employ someone to operate the pumps so the automatic pumps are perfect," said Alison.
Without the Applecross pumps, locals are faced with a 36-mile round trip to the nearest petrol station. "The journey takes them on one of the highest roads in the country at 2,000ft," said Alison. "And it’s often closed in the snow."
Applecross has a population of less than 200 people who own, collectively, 109 vehicles. However the area does get passing trade from tourists.
Alison is now working on marketing the site in a bid to increase sales and reduce the petrol prices.