New owner has big plans for landmark business

Dolan's Filling Station, Enniskillen    RMG14

Dolan’s Filling Station, Enniskillen RMG14

ONE OF Fermanagh’s best known retail outlets is changing hands. Dolan’s Centra and filling station on Enniskillen’s Dublin road  is being taken over by Lilley’s Centra which already has a busy store at Drumlyon on the  Shore Road in the town. 
It takes over as franchisee at Dolan’s Centra on the Dublin Road after the sale went through to Musgrave Retail Partners NI on Friday week.
“We’re still open and trading away at the moment. For the short term we’re just trying to brighten it up a little bit and fix it up as best we can until we finalise our plans for the long term,” said Una Lilley. “We’re trying to make the best of what we have for now, making small changes and at the same time working on a redevelopment for the whole site.”
It is a particularly large site situated opposite Celtic Park on the eastern entrance to the town and as well as the store and fuel pumps has a spacious unused area which could be developed.
“We’re looking at different options. We’re looking at the redevelopment of the site as it is and we’re looking maximising the space on the site also. It’s too early to say because we’ve only started making plans after the deal went through,” said Una. “We’re really only at the start of the process, but it will require investment and redevelopment. 
She estimates the long-term project will take at least 12 months to realise.
Just a few years ago Lilley’s Centra at Drumlyon underwent a significant redevelopment and it is likely that the Dublin Road site will undergo a similar transformation.
“There are things we are going to do fairly quickly because the need to be done,” she added. 
Already they have introduced a fresh bean coffee range and an upgrade in to the deli is imminent. The forecourt pumps will be rebranded to Topaz this week after the BP fuel supply contract ran out at the end of last month.
“We appreciate there has been some pain here for customers and apologise for any inconvenience caused,” said Una.
The store had a dozen staff who have transferred to Lilley’s and a number of staff from the Drumlyon site have moved across town to help with the initial change-over.
She has no doubt that the staff will be increased in time. 
“The site is a great site and has lots of potential. There is lots of room for development in terms of hot food and deli – all the things that we’re good at. I think we’ll adding to the staff in the short term, but we’ll certainly be adding once the development is complete,” she said. 
Una, who has 20 years in forecourt retail experience, is excited about the opportunities this new site has to offer. 
“We would like to acknowledge the Dolan family who have dedicated themselves to this site for many decades and thank them for this opportunity. 
“I have a fantastic team of loyal and hardworking staff on both sites which leaves us in a very good position to bring this site back to its full potential,” she added.

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