Independent business, motorway travellers favourite and GFirst LEP success story Gloucester Services has won a top industry accolade.
The £40million M5 Westmorland Limited-owned service station has been crowned Destination Innovation winner at the inaugural Independent Travel Awards.
It has fought off competition from destinations as distant as The Attabad Lake Tunnel in Pakistan, and Dreamland in Margate.
The Destination Innovation category aims to recognise extraordinary places and the Gloucester Services was described as ‘the Glastonbury of Road Stops’.
Opened in May 2014, the business was made possible with a £3m loan from business catalyst GFirst LEP and now works with 200 producers from across the South West, 130 of which are within 30 miles of the site.
It runs an on-site butchery with “Gloucestershire’s finest meat” as well as what is claims to be “the world’s first motorway fishmonger” providing fresh fish landed in Cornwall.
As if that is not enough ticks in the positives column it also donates a percentage of its revenue to its charitable arm – the Gloucester Gateway Trust.
It is billed as employing 300 people in the local area and aims to redistribute an estimated £10 million over 20 years back into local Gloucestershire through charitable community projects.
Sarah Dunning, OBE, chief executive of Gloucester Services, said “We are thrilled to win this award. We have worked so hard to make our services a peaceful, rejuvenating and surprising visit, the opposite of what one would expect.”
It is all possible thanks to the fantastic local food and the community we work with. Our ‘Destination Innovation’ award confirms that travellers can expect an extraordinary experience when they visit our services.”