Motorway service station operator Welcome Break has appointed Robbie Bell, formerly of Screwfix, as its new chief financial officer, MCA understands.

Bell joins Welcome Break, which earlier this year secured a £440m funding package from a banking syndicate jointly-led by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking to enable further investment in its hotel, retail and F&B offering, after eight and a half years with the UK’s largest multi-channel retailer of trade tools, accessories and hardware products.

He replaces Nick Wright, who has been the finance director and then chief financial officer of Welcome Break since 2003. He previously spent 17 years working for Whitbread.

Welcome Break is the second largest motorway service station operator in the UK, managing 27 sites across the UK. Partners include Burger King, Waitrose, Starbucks, Pret and, healthy food chain, Tossed, with PizzaExpress soon to be added.

The funding from Lloyds Bank is being used to refinance debt, and facilitate further investment in the portfolio. The company intends to extend and rebrand a number of its Days Inn hotels to the Ramada brand, introduce new restaurant and coffee brands, as well as creating more drive-through facilities at its service stations.

Welcome Break has a current annual turnover of £648m and employs 5,500 members of staff.