Site director says M1 forecourt is ‘different game altogether’

Site director says M1 forecourt is ‘different game altogether’

The experienced site director of Applegreen’s new M1 motorway service station has described the role as a “different game altogether”.

Site director Darren Given.
Manager, Darren Given.

The opening of Applegreen’s M1 motorway service station at the beginning of March made headlines across NI, while a number of local celebrities visited the site, including local boxing champ Carl Frampton.

The new station includes a branch of Greggs, Burger King, and Subway and brings the number of Applegreens in NI to three.

Both the Irish forecourt brand’s other Northern Irish sites, M2 Northbound, and its station on the A26 outside Ballymena, have proved popular with motorists.

However, excitement and interest over its latest site outside Lisburn has sparked traffic chaos among commuters headed south on opening day.

The new site is being managed by award-winning former Swift’s Eurospar manager Darren Given. Speaking to IF&CR he said: “I’ve dealt with big crowds and busy stores before, but the sheer volume of customers is unbelievable,” he said. “Ultimately, we’re trying to provide top quality customer service, and have 120 staff to meet the high level of demand. It really is a different game altogether.”

The service station – located between the Black’s Road junction and the Saintfield Road junction at Lisburn – also managed to grab headlines in Northern Irish press, with most of the region’s main news outlets reporting on the station’s soft opening.

The Belfast Telegraph's Tweet about the story
The Belfast Telegraph’s Tweet about the story

The opening came within days of Applegreen acquiring its 68th UK forecourt, in Bath, located on the southbound carriageway of the A36 from Bath to Beckington.

Belfast Live covered the story
Belfast Live covered the story

Applegreen UK managing director Michael O’Loughlin said the company was constantly on the lookout for acquisitions and he hoped to complete another purchase soon.

The public limited company announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2015 on Monday March 14, revealing profits were up 30 per cent, with revenues exceeding €1 billion during the year.