Second Gloucester Services opens with first motorway fishmonger
Westmorland has opened the second half of its £40m Gloucester Services on the M5 and laid claim to the world’s first motorway fishmonger.
The company, which also operates the acclaimed Tebay Services on the M6 in Cumbria, unveiled the southbound section of the services between M5 junctions 12 and 11a this week after opening the northbound facilities in May 2014.
As well as café and farm shop facilities similar to those on the northbound carriageway, the southbound area also boasts a counter selling fish that has been sustainably caught off the Cornish coast by small boats. The counter will be run by experienced fishmonger Francis Phillips.
Since opening the northbound side 12 months ago, Westmorland said it had placed orders totalling £1.5m with local food producers, of which there are more than 130 from a 30-mile radius on its books.
The services have prepared over 500,000 locally sourced meals and one third of the jobs at the services have been filled by the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust’s academy, a charity linked to the services which aims to get the long-term unemployed back to full time employment.
A proportion of the business’s annual turnover (estimated to be £10m over 20 years) will be invested into several communities local to the services site.
“Local food and local producers are at the heart of our offering, alongside quality local staff, it’s what makes our business special, it sets us apart,” said Westmorland CEO Sarah Dunning. “Bringing the concept of local food to the motorway is wonderfully democratic. Suppliers are given a shop window and accessible markets, motorists enjoy great local food, and we’re preserving regional foods and identity. It’s a game where everyone wins.
“Good quality locally produced food shouldn’t be the sole preserve of high end shops, it should be affordable and available to everyone. That’s why we serve it on the motorway.”