Well known industry figure joins national GVA automotive and roadside team

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Matthew Williamson, automotive and roadside team, GVA. Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix

The national Automotive and Roadside team at leading real estate adviser, GVA has appointed well known industry figure, Matthew Williamson to the team in Bristol.

A Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Matthew has over 20 years’ property experience and 11 years’ experience as a specialist in the petrol forecourt and convenience retail sectors.  Prior to joining GVA he fulfilled a consultancy role, advising on business valuations and investment for the major high street banks, leading forecourt operators and private equity investors.

His appointment comes at a key time for the sector, with investors taking a keen interest in forecourts, meeting the rising expectations of consumers for petrol filling stations to offer more than just a place to fill up the tank.

Matthew said: “This is the perfect time for me to join GVA, with a rapidly changing commercial landscape and an increasingly competitive market. While it remains a significant element, the forecourt market is no longer just about fuel, with the greatest growth potential from non-fuel sales.

“Consumers are expecting more choice and greater convenience, be that through a named grocery retailer, a carwash, or take-away, and we’re seeing an increase in the number of drive-through food and beverage offerings all of which are becoming key to the sector.

“We see further opportunities for operators to invest in their sites providing a wide range of convenience goods, coffee and hot food.  There is also a great opportunity for operators to exit with a number of well-funded buyers in the market and we expect further consolidation in the market over the next 12 months.”

GVA’s National Automotive and Roadside team provides a host of services across all sectors of the market, advising and assisting on the acquisitions and disposals of forecourts, dealerships and service areas across the country.

Paul Taylor, National Head of Automotive and Roadside at GVA, said: “The forecourt and automotive market has become a significant target for investors, with substantial levels of new money coming into the sector. Investors are seeing forecourts as good places to put their money, particularly private equity backed groups who are being more aggressive in their search for new sites.

“At GVA we have had a longstanding involvement with the petrol retail market over several decades.  Personally, I have had some 22 years of involvement, but it’s a real coup securing Matthew’s services, given his in-depth understanding and established record within the sector.  This will ensure we can provide a first class service to our client base, both from a professional and agency perspective and I am delighted to welcome him on board.”