Laurence King is Managing Director of Westmorland Limited. Westmorland operates the highly regarded Tebay Services on the M6 in Cumbria, a hotel, truck stops and the Rheged Centre near Penrith. In May 2014 the company opened Gloucester Services Northbound on the M5, following it with Southbound in May 2015. In November 2014 the company acquired Cairn Lodge Services near Glasgow.
A core value of Westmorland is to be 'rooted in the community' with local employment inclusive of hard-to-reach communities, local product sourcing and charitable giving all supporting a more sustainable business model focussed on customer service and product quality.
Laurence King trained with KPMG and has held senior Board roles in Baxi Partnership, Enterprise plc and Tetrad plc, joining Westmorland in 2008. He is currently a Council member of Lancaster University, Chairing the Finance Committee. He is 52, married with three children and plays football and tennis whilst supporting Preston North End.
We’ve been described as the ‘Oxymoron of Motorway Services’ because we do things so very differently to others within our sector.
Our commitment to doing things properly and being a champion of responsible business is at the heart of everything we do, but since our move into Gloucestershire, we have much to do within the expanded business.
As Managing Director for The Westmorland Family I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great people who share our beliefs as a business and have helped shape the way we do things. People are key to our business from the suppliers we work with within 30 miles of our services, to the dedicated colleagues we employ from our local communities; it’s these people who make our business tick 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
My role within the business is varied and no two days are the same. I work across many departments and support our senior managers in shaping our agenda. I like to think I act as the conduit between the Board and our people to deliver our vision in an informal way that resonates with everyone. Our values in particular are our set of guiding principles which help shape and influence the decisions we make both as individuals and as a family. We believe in high standards of how we operate our family business, the products that we sell and produce, and our impact on the communities and environments that we work in.
Responsible business isn’t just about doing things differently it’s about everyone from the CEO to the people serving coffee understanding and believing in what we do. Constant and continuous communication is very important. Community is very much at the heart of what we do and we are very aware that we need to invest back into it. We look to work with organisations that are geographically local to us and our staff. In this way, we form lasting relationships and know that our partnerships are productive.
Our sector deals in high volumes of traffic and footfall and therefore the scale and type of operations enables us to have a great impact if we operate responsibly. The potential impacts due to safety issues and waste are significant. Operating responsibly makes good business sense too.