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Fledgling fuel firm expands its fleet

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: April 02, 2009

Moorland’s Ben and Debbie More with Russell Cook (right)

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DESPITE some pretty adverse weather conditions, Devon-based Moorland Fuels managed to expand its market and meet its delivery schedules throughout the winter.

Run by Ben More, the Okehampton-based business, which delivers fuel for oil fired central heating, has taken on more staff and added a new tanker to its fleet, with growth funding from NatWest Bank.

Moorland Fuels was started just over five years ago to complement the long-established Southern Lubricants – owned in partnership with Simon Olford – which operates from the same Okehampton site.

The spin-out business distributes lubricants to the agricultural, commercial, industrial, public sector and marine market throughout the South West, boasting prestigious clients including Westlands, Princess Yachts and the RNLI.

Moorland Fuels was born out of an idea to fully utilise the two acre site in Okehampton. In an area so reliant on oil, the chance to offer such a fuel distribution service seemed a logical progression.

The business has grown steadily since its inception and the company strapline – "part of the landscape" – rings true as the fleet of tankers is regularly seen delivering to homes across the area, ensuring they have been kept warm during the severe weather the region has experienced.

A new tanker has just come on board and a new salesman has been appointed to look after commercial customers. What was started as an "add on", is now a fully fledged business in its own right.

Commenting on the success, Ben More said: "I'm pleased with how well the business is doing and it bears testament to the dedication and hard work of our team, which will become even more important in the months to come.

"Our goal has been to provide people with a competitive, local and friendly alternative to national fuel suppliers.

"Customers also appreciate the fact that we are based right in the heart of our distribution area. The result is a large amount of repeat business and personal recommendations."

The business, which was exceeding its sales and service targets, was supported in its expansion by Okehampton-based NatWest business manager Russell Cook.

He said: "I'm thrilled to see the team at Moorland Fuels doing so well and that NatWest has been able to help make their dream of expanding the business become a reality.

"They have put a lot of time and energy into researching this new market and have sensibly taken advantage of all the help and advice available to them. It's great to see all their hard work paying off – they are living proof that NatWest is still very much open for business and as committed as ever to providing funding and helping small business dreams come true."

Mr More added: "We'd like to thank NatWest and Russell Cook for all his help, support and belief in what we have been trying to do. It's great to have a bank that is willing to offer ongoing help with finance and where a high level of personal contact with your dedicated local business manager is all part of the service."

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