One of the region’s most established home service franchises is being offered for sale.

Derek Lancaster, who runs oven valeting service Ovenu Darlington intends to retire when his current franchise agreement expires in 2025.

As part of his long-term succession plans, the business is currently being advertised by Ovenu.

The former RAF chef estimates that he has already cleaned more than 12,500 ovens over a 19-year period.

The 60-year-old, from Bedale, North Yorkshire, bought the business having spent 25 years in the military, including spells at RAF Leeming and RAF Boulmer.

He launched Ovenu Darlington in 2003 and recruited wife Deb a year later to provide extra support by cleaning grills and dealing with the extra administration.

As well as the market town, Ovenu Darlington also covers a wide area incorporating Northallerton, Leyburn, Barnard Castle, Newton Aycliffe, and Bishop Auckland.

Derek, who rose to the rank of Sergeant in the RAF, said: “As well as cleaning an estimated 12,500 ovens so far, I’ve clocked up nearly 200,000 miles criss-crossing this scenic part of the world.

“This business, indeed, the whole franchise, is founded on delivering a quality service, which has allowed me to establish a large and loyal client base. I’ve been fortunate to meet so many lovely people down the years and I will miss it when it comes time to retire.

“I know oven cleaning is one of the most detested of all domestic tasks, but I take professional pride in everything I do. It’s something that has been very generous to us and is a great business opportunity.

“I left the RAF knowing I wanted to be my own boss and Ovenu offered me the ability to run a business, while knowing I had a safety net of support and advice behind me.”

Rik Hellewell, founder and managing director of Ovenu, said: “Derek is one of our longest-serving franchisees in the UK and has set a shining example when it comes to delivering exceptional service.”

“Our tried and tested business model offers the most professional, practical and profitable way to succeed in this sector – something he has ably demonstrated.”

The Ovenu valeting process involves dismantling key components of an oven such as the door, interior panels, fan, and shelves and placing them into design-registered tank equipment, which uses safe, non-caustic products, leaving the oven in near showroom condition.

For further details on the UK’s most successful oven cleaning franchise call 01189 743911 or visit https://www.ovenu.co.uk/oven-cleaning-franchise/