New independent motorway service area opens on the M5 near Gloucester

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The services will doubtless be of interest to coaches travelling to and from the South West of England

A motorway service area which promises coach drivers and passengers a ‘new experience’ has opened on the M5 between junctions 11a and 12 on the outskirts of Gloucester. A second southbound area will open in 2015.

Located at Brookthorpe, the facility is part of the Westmorland Family of businesses and has been been built in partnership with Gloucester Gateway Trust. As the sister project of Tebay Services on the M6 in Cumbria, the station will offer fresh, locally produced food, including the fresh meat and homemade dishes, as opposed to the familiar array of fast food chains and franchises.

“We believe proper food matters,” said Sarah Dunning, CEO of Westmorland Family. “It is this commitment to local sourcing and the community that really sets the business apart.”

Coach drivers can enjoy a meal for just 1p in the café, and coaches with between one and 25 passengers can receive either a £2 ‘love to shop’ voucher or a £3 Westmorland voucher, which can be used in the farmshops. For 25 or more passengers, drivers can receive a £4 ‘love to shop’ voucher or a £6 Westmorland one.

The project will reportedly employ over 300 people in the local area and will redistribute an estimated £10m over 20 years back into local charities.

“Embedding the charity directly with the aims and ambitions of the business is game-changing stuff,” said Mark Gale from the Trust.

“Making communities more resilient and helping to make people more employable is the aim of both the charity and the services.”

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