Investment of £6m in Newry motorway service station to create 140 jobs
A £6m motorway service station bringing a potential 140 jobs is on the way for Newry after forecourt giant Maxol won planning permission after first applying over two years ago.
The company submitted a planning application in August 2017 for a motorway service area (MSA) on the Armagh Road outside the city. It said it would bring 80 jobs during the construction phase and 60 full-time retail jobs.
A spokeswoman for the Maxol Group said: "I can confirm that planning permission has been granted by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and we very much welcome this decision."
Maxol and other forecourt operators in Northern Ireland have been in strong competition with Irish forecourt retail giant Applegreen, which now has three motorway service areas in Northern Ireland. Applegreen's closest MSA to the Newry site is over the border in Co Louth.
Retail NI chief executive Glyn Roberts said: "The forecourt sector has become much more competitive in recent years with significant new investment from many Retail NI members.
"It's not just about fuel any more as we have seen many forecourts expanding their choice of food-to-go options and their grocery offer for consumers."
Maxol has around 100 petrol stations in Northern Ireland - but its Newry site would be just its second motorway-style location.
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The Newry site would be close to the long-established Fiveways Service Station which is at a key junction where the Armagh Road branches off to Belfast, Armagh and Dublin. Maxol's other motorway service station is at Tannaghmore on the A26 between Antrim and Ballymena.
Meanwhile, Henderson Group - the owner of the Spar, Eurospar, Vivo and Vivoxtra convenience brands - has submitted an amended planning application for a forecourt development on Newry Road in Banbridge.
Mark Adrain, group property director at Henderson Group, said it looked forward to starting work on the site when approved.
"Investment in the store will exceed £2.4m and provide 45 new local jobs," he said.
"The supermarket will serve the needs of local communities with enhanced shopper experiences thanks to innovative in-store services and facilities.
"As a network of over 400 Spar, Eurospar, Vivo, Vivoxtra and Vivo Essential stores in Northern Ireland, we are always looking for opportunities to upgrade our stores for local communities.
"The outlet on Newry Road, Banbridge is part of Henderson Group's £26m investment into new stores, extensions and refurbishments in the next 12 months."