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Double acquisition as Certas Energy acquires two Pembrokeshire filling stations

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CERTAS ENERGY has added two West Wales fillings stations to its growing company portfolio with the acquisition of Square & Compass and Letterson Filling Stations, both formerly owned by Roger and Anne Shackleton.

The couple have operated their Pembrokeshire forecourt business for 22 years, its two Gulf branded forecourts are integral to the local community, with large and successful convenience stores and a combined fuel volume of 5.6ml.

“We are delighted to have concluded this deal, it’s a very good fit for our business as we continue to grow our company operation across the UK,” enthuses Richard Billington, Retail Director, Certas Energy. “We already have a strong Gulf presence within Pembrokeshire and these two flagship sites will complement our thriving and expanding Dealer operation.”

“Anne and Roger have put their heart and soul into their business and its standing within the locality is testament to their hard work and that of a very talented team, whom we look forward to working with. We’ll bring the sites into harmony with the rest of our company-owned operation, investing in the latest back-office technology and on-site facilities to future proof the business. We will also remain true to the values established by the Shackletons to be at the heart of the local community.”

Square and Compass filling station in north Pembrokeshire

The two forecourts currently employ 20 people. They are seven miles apart, both situated in the town of Haverfordwest. Dave Morris, Director at specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, acted on behalf of owners Anne and Roger and comments; “The two forecourts presented a great opportunity for a buyer as they are in a good location and well regarded locally. It has been a pleasure to work for Anne and Roger who have been passionate fuel retailers for over 20 years and we wish them all the best with their retirement. Both sites are a good fit for Certas Energy and we look forward to seeing them transition into Certas’ company owned portfolio.”

Reflecting on his departure from the business, Roger Shackleton says: “We have fantastic staff and a successful business that has been nurtured to the needs of our community. I’ve loved every minute of the ever changing environment of forecourt and convenience retailing. I still get up every morning at 4am to prepare for the day ahead but now seems the right time to retire. Certas Energy and Gulf Retail are better suited to unlock the future potential and get the very best out of our two sites. It’s a very emotive time for us both, we regard our staff as family but we know they are in good hands. The Gulf team are genuine, the process has been relatively smooth and David Morris of Christie and Co. has been brilliant, working tirelessly keep the deal progressing and to get us to this place.”

“When we drive past the sites in the future, we may feel saddened that we are no longer at the helm but in Gulf Retail, we are happy that we have sold to the right people.”

This latest acquisition by Certas Energy increases its company portfolio to 35 sites as it continues to grow the Gulf network in size and scale.

Fuel family’s final farewell

IT WAS an emotional farewell at two north Pembrokeshire filling stations this week as the popular owners Roger and Anne Shackleton handed the reigns over to new owners Certas Energy, Britain’s largest independent distributor of fuels and lubricants.

Staff at Letterston filling station say good bye to old owners Roger and Anne

After 22 years, Roger and Anne are looking forward to a more relaxed life on their farm, and to see more of their family, they told The Herald.

In 1997, the couple sold their pedigree herd and bought Letterston Filling Station. In 2007 Square and Compass Filling Station was purchased and plans were made to rebuild the shop into a convenience store to serve the neighbourhood. They were able to provide a wide range of goods and competitive fuel prices over a long period at both sites, an important resource for the local community in both cases.

The staff at Square and Compass filling station

Roger and Anne said in a statement: “We would like to thank our suppliers, and the loyal and long-standing customers for their support over the years. A final thank you goes to the staff, past and present that have helped make the business what it is today.

They added: “We would like to extend our best wishes to Certas Energy for success in the future with both Letterston and Square and Compass Filling Stations.”

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Business

Colourful new eatery ‘The Junction’ opens in Gorseinon

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Junction Bar and Kitchen has just opened in Gorseinon 

A trendy new restaurant has just opened in Gorseinon – and has already been met with an optimistic reaction from locals. ‘The Junction Bar & Kitchen’ has opened upstairs at the Gorseinon Events Centre (known by some as the “GEC”) in Gorseinon High Street and is set to be a huge success, with delicious fry-up breakfasts and mouth-watering burgers, with loaded fries set to be added to the menu very soon.

The events centre itself was first built as a theatre in the early 1900s but, as the years have passed, has developed into a multi-purpose indoor events arena, which now welcomes a mixt of well-known artists and up-and-coming performers and DJs. The venue has two events spaces, two bars, a recording studio and a “DJ tuition room” with access to an extensive vinyl library. For more stories about Gorseinon, go here.

The GEC first began serving meals during the pandemic. Staff members cooked them in the venue’s then-small kitchen, for delivery and takeaway. Public demand grew very quickly, staff say, so management soon added a full-kitchen and a seating area post-lockdown which has proven to work wonders.

Read more: Date and full details announced for Swansea Christmas Parade 2022

Since then, the seating area has grown and staff have further developed the space – ultimately turning it into an open and welcoming eatery, which opened to the public on Monday, October 24. The venue is currently open from 9am to 2pm, serving breakfast and lunch, and will soon be open from 4pm to 8pm as well, offering burgers, loaded fries and other evening meals.

Staff member Jason Thomas said: “The GEC is an events centre which offers a variety of events including world-class DJs like Ben Nicky who is performing in December and up-and-coming DJs, musicians and tribute acts. During the lockdown, the GEC began to offer dinners for takeaway and delivery and had a great response so far. You can read more stories about Gorseinon here.

A fry up on the breakfast menu at The Junction (Image: Junction Bar & Kitchen)
Junction will soon be offering these delicious-looking burgers (Image: Junction Bar & Kitchen)
Inside Junction Bar and Kitchen (Image: Junction Bar & Kitchen)

“People have seen pictures of the burgers we’ll be making [on social media] and say they’re really excited to try them, the pictures are going viral!” he added.

In weeks to come, staff plan on showing big sports events, including Wales games, on the big screens in the GEC and expanding their menu and offerings in The Junction.

In the mean-time, The Junction Bar & Kitchen is servings its breakfast menu from 9am to 2pm. The Junction Bar & Kitchen can be found upstairs at Gorseinon Events Centre at 12 High Street, Gorseinon, Swansea, SA4 4BX.

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Yodel creates over 40 new jobs in Llanelli as it gears up for the festive season

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UK INDEPENDENT parcel carrier Yodel has announced that it is looking to recruit 49 new colleagues at its Llanelli site. This latest drive comes as the business prepares for what is expected to be a busy festive period.

Yodel’s Llanelli depot is a key site in its nationwide network, handling millions of parcels every year and serving customers across South Wales. Recent years have seen a dramatic growth in e-commerce, feeding sustained demand for parcel delivery services with Yodel expecting to handle over 200 million parcels this year. This latest recruitment drive follows a series of infrastructure investments and will support the business as it scales up its operations for peak.

Mike Hancox, CEO of Yodel, commented: “There are a range of roles available based at our Llanelli depot that supports our deliveries across South Wales. Christmas is always our busiest time of the year, but with 2022 bringing additional World Cup related shopping, we’re anticipating a festive season like never before. By joining Yodel, you will become part of a nationwide family and have options to work either full or part-time to suit your lifestyle.”

Our neighborhood courier roles suit a wide variety of lifestyles, and no previous experience is required. In recent years Yodel has developed a specialism in delivering parcels for growing and well-known retailer names.

For more information, please visit https://yodelopportunities.co.uk/ or text ‘Deliver’ to 84433 to learn more about courier roles at Yodel, find out about the values behind the business and apply for current opportunities.

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Community groups receive a share of cash from Ogi’s community fund ‘Cefnogi’

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COMMUNITY groups across Pembrokeshire, Monmouthshire and the Vale of Glamorgan have each received a cash injection, thanks to Ogi’s new ‘Cefnogi’ local support fund.

Wales’s homegrown internet company, Ogi has given over £4,000 so far to community groups in Pembrokeshire, Monmouthshire and the Vale of Glamorgan, to date, with everything from community gardens to coffee mornings being supported by the broadband provider’s micro-fund.

Building on the company’s sponsorship of local grassroots activities at Haverfordwest AFC, Llantwit Major RFC and Portskewett and Sudbrook FC, the ‘Cefnogi’ micro-fund offers small, local groups a cash injection to support activities that directly benefit their communities.

Speaking about the fund, Head of Brand and Engagement, Sarah Vining, said: “Investing in our communities is an important part of our plan to bring full fibre connectivity to towns and villages across south Wales.

“This initiative, bringing small, but no less vital, cash injections to thriving local community groups is our way of giving back to those that are providing much needed support locally.”

The fund, set up by the regional Community Liaison team, offers grants of around £250 to local grassroots groups in the broadband providers roll our areas.

Community Liaison Officer, Martin Jones, one of the team who originally came up with the idea for the fund, said: “I’m thrilled to see so many groups being supported by the ‘Cefnogi’ fund.

“Community really is at the heart of all we do here at Ogi, and giving back through our micro-fund is making a real difference to the local groups we support.”

Ogi’s support extends to volunteering opportunities too, with teams across the businesses having supported the clearing of residents gardens, hosting coffee mornings and redeveloping community spaces.

For more information on the ‘Cefnogi’ micro-fund visit www.ogi.wales/support

The latest round of the fund is accepting applications until the end of October 2022.

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