A filling station has become the 85th branch of Central Convenience Stores after it was acquired by the Palmer and Harvey-owned southern c-store chain. The deal was struck after West Country commercial property specialists Charles Darrow was tasked by Central Convenience Stores to find more businesses in the area for the business to expand.

Sylvania Stores, Exeter, was sold by Mills & Sons of Clyst St Mary, while Matford Service Station, Exminster, was sold on behalf of the Eveleigh family, who previously owned a number of garages across Exeter.

The Matford petrol filling station business was the subject of an intense bidding war, having been set an initial guide price of £1.5m.

Charles Darrow director Paul Heather said: "Central Convenience Stores is aiming to increase its presence in the south west and we are delighted to be helping them to achieve their vision. The chain is going from strength to strength and we have the expertise to help them find the type of premises which suits their plans and ambitions."

Central Convenience Stores commercial director Tony Start added: "We are delighted to be adding more stores to our growing portfolio in Exeter.

"Our aim is to develop stores very much with the community needs in mind and that’s exactly what we’re doing with our new branches in Devon."