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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Maxol breaks ground on £2.35 million expansion of Braid River and Marino Service Stations

Maxol Braid River Ballymena

Maxol, Northern Ireland’s leading family-owned forecourt and convenience retailer, is investing £2.35 million in a significant redevelopment and expansion of Maxol Braid River Service Station in central Ballymena and a modernisation of Maxol Marino near Holywood.  

The investment is part of a wider five-year capital investment programme worth £84M that Maxol recently announced across its network to meet the growing demand for convenience-led forecourt services that include coffee, groceries and food-to-go.   


Sustainable development  


Maxol’s innovative and sustainable forecourt design will be fully implemented at Maxol Braid River. A host of cutting-edge technologies will be used to reduce the site’s existing carbon footprint which include photovoltaic (solar) panels to reduce electrical import requirements; solar efficient glazing; the use of LED lights; low energy CO2 refrigeration systems with doors fitted throughout the store; exhaust air-heat pump technology to reduce heating loads; and an energy management system to monitor and control the overall energy usage on the site.  


Maxol Braid River Ballymena

Maxol Braid River Ballymena  


A new EV Charging Hub will be developed and operated under Maxol’s Recharge brand. It will have up to four 200kw EV charging units serving 1 vehicle each, providing charging for four cars at any one time.   


Elsewhere on the forecourt, Premium Fuels will be introduced to enable customers to make greener motoring choices; car parking facilities will more than double from the current 11 to 32 and Pay at Pump technology will be available at two fuel pumps to ensure greater convenience for customers during busy trading periods.  


Site plan for Maxol Braid River, Ballymena.

Site plan for Maxol Braid River, Ballymena.

Floor plan for Maxol Braid River, Ballymena.

Floor plan for Maxol Braid River, Ballymena.

Braid River’s current retail space will grow by 140% from 102 sq. meters to 246 sq. meters.  With a doubling of frozen food provision and the number of grocery and chilled bays increasing significantly, customers can expect to find a much bigger range of locally produced food including an expanded grocery offer, and an extended fruit & veg, dairy, and frozen food ranges.  


A new Delish Deli with a self-serve chicken bar will be introduced, along with new Frozen Coca Cola and Frozen Fanta slushie machines. The popular BARISTA BAR Coffee for quality coffee on the go will be expanded to two units for improved speed of service and enhanced with a new bakery for pastries and sweet treats.    

Maxol Braid River Ballymena


For customers’ speed and convenience two self-checkouts will also be installed.  

Commenting on the exciting redevelopment and expansion in Ballymena co-managers Jacqueline Henry and Mrs Jennifer Waide, Braid River Service Station, told Love Ballymena:

"Approximately 17 years ago, Maxol took over the Braid River Service Station (BRSS) which was then ESSO and the new licensee then became Mr Chris Warwick who remained there until October 2022 when he retired and Maxol had it re-licensed.

"The new licensee and Maxol agreed that the BRSS was in need of an overhaul. After much discussion it was decided in the interest of safety, for customers, workers and contractors, it would be best to close the premises for a period of approximately 5 months, thereby allowing contractors the freedom to operate their machinery safely whilst enhancing, improving and enlarging the store and other facilities such as electric charging points.

Front and street elevations for Maxol Braid River, Ballymena.

Front and street elevations for Maxol Braid River, Ballymena.

"Whilst we and indeed the staff deeply regret the temporary closure of the premises we feel it is indeed for the best. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our faithful customers, colleagues and suppliers who have remained with us through some recent difficult times during the pandemic.

"To those valued people we give our heartfelt thanks and hope to see you all again at our reopening."


Work at Maxol Braid River is expected to be completed in October 2023.

Alternative Maxol sites that can be used while the work is ongoing are: Maxol Service Station Doury Road, Ballymena; The Phoenix Maxol Service Station, Antrim Road, Ballymena; Maxol Service Station Graham’s Ahoghill; Maxol Service Station Cullybackey:  Maxol Service Station Raceview Road, Broughshane; Maxol Service Station Campbell’s Largy Road; and Donnelly’s Maxol Service Station.  


Maxol Service Station Marino Holywood 


The investment at Maxol Marino Service Station on the main Belfast to Bangor Road at Cultra will enhance and upgrade current customer facilities both on the forecourt and in-store.   


Customer flow around the store will be improved by the relocation of the entrance and parking will be increased to accommodate 23 customer vehicles.  


The retail space will be refreshed with new flooring, ceiling, lighting and new check-outs. There will also be more refrigeration space added for Grab & Go and dairy produce and additional shelving for an enhanced grocery offer.  


Frozen Coca Cola and Fanta slushie machines will be introduced and the forecourt will be refreshed to create a warm welcome for customers with better signage amongst the improvements.    


Brian Donaldson, Chief Executive Officer of The Maxol Group said: “These investments reflect our ambition to develop our service stations with a convenience-led offer that provide our customers with the latest food concepts and convenience goods.   


"With Maxol Braid River set to have only the second EV Charging Hub in our Maxol estate and with the continued rollout of our sustainable forecourt design, these investments reaffirm our commitment to being a more sustainable forecourt retailer. I look forward to the completion of these projects that will ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our customers in modern, vibrant, sustainable and welcoming environments." 


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