A FAMILY-RUN service station has been sold to a major operator - which has promised to “significantly” increase the number of jobs at the site.

Leeming Bar Services, near Bedale, North Yorkshire, has been sold to Moto Hospitality for an unspecified sum in a deal completed on Monday (February 3).

The business is owned by Carl Les and was set up by his mother and father in 1961 and now consists of facilities including a cafe and restaurant, hotel, shop and other facilities for travellers.

In 2012, it was formally given permission to become an official motorway service station to serve the upgraded A1(M), following a lengthy public inquiry and appeals process.

Mr Les says that, although it was not an easy decision to sell his family business, Moto Hospitality will provide the investment and expertise needed to continue the upgrade of the service station into an official motorway facility and provide his staff with a more secure future.

All existing jobs at the site are said to be safe-guarded but Mr Les says will step down from the company.

He said: “We completed the sale on Monday and the new owners will be Moto Hospitality, who are the leading motorway service area operators in the country. I’m leaving the operations of the business but all the other staff are staying in their jobs.

“It has not been an easy decision to make and leaving will be a great wrench, but it is in the best interests of our customers and staff.”

Moto Hospitality’s chief executive Tim Moss, said it planned to invest in the site over the next few years and expected to significantly increase the number of jobs there over the next few years.

He added: “Moto are pleased to confirm that they have now completed the purchase of Leeming Bar Services and we look forward to investing significant money onto the site over the coming years in order to fully upgrade the site to meet the Motorway service Area planning requirements.

“Leeming Bar is an excellent location with a high quality local workforce and we expect to increase the number of jobs on the site significantly over the coming years.”