A brand new SPAR convenience store and Shell service station on one of Darlington’s busiest main roads has opened its doors to the public.

The new 3,000 sq. ft. SPAR and Shell branded forecourt on the site of Haughton Road Service Station has been months in development after planning permission was granted in 2020.

The completely overhauled site features six fuel pumps, a jet wash, air and water machines, an ATM and customer parking.

Inside the store, there is a high quality Graham Eyes butchers counter, Clayton Park Bakery deli, and a range of refreshment options including Cheeky Coffee, F’Real milkshakes and smoothies, and a Tango Ice Blast machine.

There is also a comprehensive range of fresh foods, food to go, major branded products, and beers, wines and spirits to meet customer demand.

The red carpet was rolled out as the Mayor of Darlington, Cllr Cyndi Hughes, cut the ribbon to open the store, and local people gathered to take advantage of some opening day special deals and meal giveaways.

James Hall & Co. Ltd, SPAR UK’s primary wholesaler and distributor for the North of England, is the store owner and operator, and its opening has created 38 jobs for Darlington residents.

The new Darlington SPAR store is James Hall & Co. Ltd’s 152nd company-owned SPAR store and its 41st forecourt.

Andy Inglis (76) lives across the road, and he was one of the first 50 customers through the doors to claim his ‘tea for free’ giveaway.

Andy said: “I’ve lived in Darlington all of my life and this store is a godsend for the community. It was virtually derelict before and the redevelopment has really brightened up the area.

“I’m really pleased about it, and it is definitely an asset for the town. I’m also taking home a pack of Clayton Park Bakery’s chocolate eclairs as they are my wife’s favourite.”

Joyce Lewis (63) was another local resident who was keen to browse the store on launch day and she was highly impressed with the store experience.

Joyce said: “It’s an absolutely brilliant SPAR and I was surprised just how large it is inside. It has everything you could need. You can pick up your essentials, and you could do a bigger shop as well.

“The range is great, particularly the butchers, the bakery and the greeting cards. Of course, you can get your fuel for your car too. It is ideal for me living just around the corner.”

The Mayor of Darlington, Cllr Cyndi Hughes, said: “I was delighted to be asked to cut the ribbon to officially open the fantastic new Darlington SPAR store and meet the team behind it. I wish Store Manager Michelle, her team, and all at James Hall & Co. Ltd every success with it.

“The significant investment SPAR have put into the site and the jobs the new store and forecourt has created is a great boost for the local economy and it shows that Darlington is open for business.”

Fiona Drummond, Company Stores Director at James Hall & Co. Ltd, said: “We’re incredibly excited to launch in Darlington and bring the SPAR brand to the town. While we have a strong presence of company-owned stores in the North East of the country and independent retailers under the SPAR symbol, we have never had a presence in central Darlington. This was a key attraction to our investment in the Haughton Road Service Station site.

“Our modern store really does look tremendous and its location is fantastic on one of Darlington’s main gateways, with a good mix of employers and residential customers close by. Michelle our Store Manager is ready to welcome in the community of Darlington to showcase our brilliant, competitively priced offer that meets the needs of the town.”

You can find out more information about James Hall & Co. Ltd at www.jameshall.co.uk.

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