• Sat. May 25th, 2024

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North East family business re-charges after challenging year

A Belford business has expanded its premises and installed a new electric vehicle charging station to support the UK’s journey to net zero, despite Covid-19 disruption.

Adderstone Services, founded 45 years ago, is a petrol station and retail shop on the A1 between Alnwick and Berwick-upon-Tweed.

In 1993, the family-business developed Purdy Lodge – a hotel, restaurant, pub and café – located three miles from Adderstone Services. It also introduced Adderstone Holiday Park, a popular tourist destination attracting visitors from across the UK.

When the pandemic struck, the number of visitors to Purdy Lodge and the holiday park dropped overnight. Demand for the services station also decreased as lockdown affected the number of people travelling.

Despite the disruption, the business fulfilled its own green ambitions by installing a Tesla vehicle charging station at Adderstone Services – a first for the East coast between England and Scotland. It features six superchargers for Tesla vehicles and has already been used by more than 1,000 drivers.

To offset the sudden decrease to its income from its tourism arms, the business secured a £300,000 funding package from Lloyds Bank which included a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL), a Bounce Back Loan (BBL) and regular bank funding.

The support helped the firm pay its overheads while Purdy Lodge remained open for key workers that needed accommodation when travelling via the A1. The business also continued to progress with expansion plans of its holiday park by adding 25 new caravan spaces to the current 28-space site. The new site has now opened its doors and welcomed its first visitors.

John Davidson, managing director of Adderstone Services, said: “Since 1976 the family has worked hard to grow Adderstone Services and Purdy Lodge, but we really struggled as lockdown restrictions affected travel.

“The support from Lloyds Bank gave us the stability to manage the challenges of the pandemic and keep our operations running to support key workers and our local community.

“As life begins to return to normality, we’re moving closer to normal trading levels and we’re excited to see more people making use of our new electric charging station. It’s great knowing we are helping people make a meaningful contribution to making the North East a more sustainable region.  We’re also really excited to welcome holidaymakers back to the holiday park and enjoy the new expanded site.”

Elaine Gill, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “With travel disrupted across the UK last year, businesses like Adderstone Services and Purdy Lodge suffered hugely.

“The Davidson family have shown incredible resilience to keep the business running smoothly and have been a massive asset to the local community.

“It’s great to see the business push ahead with the caravan park expansion and unveil the new Tesla charging station. The North East has seen a 45 per cent increase in the number of electric vehicles registered over the past year so the new Tesla charging station is a fantastic introduction to the area*. We’ll continue to stand by North East businesses and support them as we work towards a green recovery.”