Working in partnership to deliver sustainable income to benefit local communities
Gloucestershire Gateway Trust was formed in 2007 bringing together a group of leading local business people and social entrepreneurs. The Trust secured its charitable status in 2011.
However, the idea of creating a motorway services on the M5 which would not only create local jobs but provide a sustainable income to help local communities thrive, first came to Mark Gale, chief executive of Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, in 1994. Read the fascinating (but snappily written) timeline from that first twinkle in Mark's eye to the reality just over 20 years later.
We aim to generate long-term community benefit and sustainable income for charitable partners working in our target communities in Gloucester and Stroud.
Our partnership with the Westmorland Family for the operation of Gloucester Services on the M5 is the engine that drives the generation of our local charitable opportunities.
Our picture shows Mark Gale from the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust and Sarah Dunning OBE, of Westmorland, on top of the domed roof of the Northbound services before it was turfed.
First for the UK
Gloucestershire Gateway Trust and the Westmorland Family set up Gloucestershire Gateway Ltd to run Gloucester Services on the M5. This project is a first for the UK, demonstrating how charities and businesses can unite around a common interest to generate substantial benefit for both.
We know that successful long term regeneration in our target neighbourhoods needs the creation of accessible local employment opportunities and new community investment. Our work together will deliver these essential elements.
Why is the M5 Gloucester Services unique?
It is the first partnership project between a family business and a charity of its kind in the UK. Gloucester Services has already:
Created around 400 permanent local jobs targeted at local people
Supported more than 200 local and regional food and craft producers in its farm shops, butcher and fish counters, lifestyle sections and kitchens
Raised awareness of local community and charity partners, many of whom we have been working with for several years
Established ‘Growing Communities’ community planting areas and beehives
The northbound Gloucester Services which, along with the southbound services, welcomes travellers to its farm shop, gift shop and cafe serving fresh, locally produced food. There are butchers on both sides, and even a fishmonger on the Southbound services.