Tebay and Gloucester Services - supporting local communities

The Samworth Brothers Rural Action Award, Winner, 2015

Tebay and Gloucester Services have supported local businesses and disadvantaged communities, and made high-quality food available to customers. This has helped the business grow and led to positive media coverage.

What the judges thought

  • This project is completely innovative, and makes a significant difference to both the company and the community.
  • The scale and the scope of this project is transformational, and the level of investment and risk for the size of the business was massive.
  • Everything about this project focuses on the rural community, and much of what has been achieved could be replicated by other businesses across a range of sectors.

Social and business benefits

  • Supported local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in their expansion.
  • Worked with communities to relieve unemployment and provided jobs for disadvantaged people and the long-term unemployed.
  • Supported business growth for the Westmorland Family.
  • The family’s approach to business has generated positive media coverage and won a number of awards.
  • Supported SMEs in the local area to deliver quality local products.

Tebay Services logoTebay and Gloucester Services logoIn brief

Tebay Services and Gloucester is part of the Westmorland Family business, set up over 40 years ago when the M6 motorway cut through the family farm. Since then, the business has transformed the concept of the motorway service station, stocking locally produced goods, serving homemade dishes created from locally sourced produce and employing 550 people.

New site Gloucester Services opened in 2014 following a £40 million investment. The business partnered with Gloucester Gateway Trust to train and employ local people, with 30% of staff formerly being long term unemployed. The Westmorland Family have made a significant contribution to the rural community served through Tebay and Gloucester Services.

The story in detail

Gloucester and Tebay Services are genuine rural champions.

- Mary-Ann Kilby,
Director, Samworth Brothers, Chair of Judges
In 1972 the local farmers, the Dunnings, were faced with a choice when the M6 motorway cut though their farm: to adapt or close their farm. They decided to adapt and set up Tebay Services.

Tebay was the first family run motorway service station business in the UK. Instead of a forecourt packed with chains, franchises and fast food, Tebay’s farm shop is stocked with locally produced food. The butcher’s shop sells meat from the family farm, while the kitchen serves homemade dishes created from locally sourced produce.

Adapting the farm to meet new needs

Tebay Services has grown with the motorway and now employs 550 people in Cumbria – with the Westmorland Family remaining dedicated to its roots of locality, provenance and quality. As well as providing employment and stocking locally sourced food, the business supports the surrounding rural community in many other ways.

Operating within a rural environment has its challenges due to the lack of public transport. Westmorland offers a free minibus service to work at Tebay Services from the surrounding villages, which makes a huge difference to local employees.

Partnerships helping the local community

In May 2014 the Westmorland Family opened the Gloucester Services, a £40 million project employing 300 people. Community integration is at the top of the agenda and the family have teamed up with Gloucestershire Gateway Trust to help some of the most disadvantaged people in the area. Through this partnership, the charity stands to gain around £10 million pounds over 20 years to spend on local community initiatives.

Working with the Trust, Gloucester Services has run training academies for unemployed people and 30% of its current staff were previously long term unemployed. Starting in 2015, an on-site growing programme will supply fresh produce to the kitchens. This will employ people with mental health problems and learning disabilities, drug users and ex-offenders.

Aside from their work with the Trust, The Westmorland Family supports local businesses by stocking their produce in their farm shop and providing them with a secure supply demand. Gloucester Services works with over 130 local suppliers within 30 miles of the services and 70 producers from across the south-west. For Gloucester Services, this investment in the local community will support its future business.

What the CEO of the Westmorland Family said:

“It’s our approach to food that sets the business apart, we believe proper food matters. So we serve it where you’d least expect it—on the motorway. Quality farm assured food was at the core of my father’s vision when he opened Tebay Services some 40 years ago.  Back then it was visionary, today, we’re part of a local food revolution.” - Sarah Dunning, CEO