A HEATING oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supplier has appointed a new managing director.

Stuart Illingworth has succeeding his father, Howard Illingworth, as the manager director of Harrogate-based Northern Energy, an independent supplier.

The appointment comes as the fourth generation family business sets its sights on doubling in size in the next five years to become the largest independent supplier of LPG in the country.

Mr Illingworth said: “I’m proud to be following in my father’s footsteps, leading the way to a more sustainable future for Northern Energy. There are some big changes that need to be made as we step towards meeting the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, which outlines targets on cutting greenhouse emissions whilst ensuring an affordable energy supply. Gas is a less carbon intensive fuel than oil, so our growth strategy will focus on the LPG side of the business and starting the transition to Bio LPG, a renewable energy source. This will potentially include producing the product ourselves and relocating the business to a new site with a purpose built storage depot.

“It’s our strong, family values the business is built upon which will secure it’s growth and continued success.

"Only a tiny percentage of family businesses thrive for as long as ours has and our working relationships are stronger than ever. We’re organised and respectful towards one another and the succession plan has been thought through carefully, ensuring each family member’s skills are utilised in the right way.”