The new M5 motorway Gloucester Services is ready to put the county on the map.
Sarah Dunning, chief executive officer of Westmorland Ltd, which owns and operates the new service station, said Gloucestershire was the perfect choice to build the new £40million services.
“It is a phenomenal opportunity for businesses here,” she said.
Phase one on the northbound carriageway of the M5 is due to open on May 7, offering produce from 200 South West producers – 130 of which are from within a 30-mile radius of the site.
Work has already begun on the southbound service station and is expected to open in May 2015 and will employ a further 150 people, in addition to the 150 already engaged on the northbound side.
Gloucester Services is like no other motorway service station in the UK, apart from Westmorland’s original business – Tebay in Cumbria.
You will not find any franchise businesses but a wealth of locally-sourced food and produce, all freshly prepared on site in a visually-stunning environment.
Two enormous stripped ash tree trunks cut from the Forest of Dean and hanging from the ceiling will greet visitors as they walk into the Cotswold stone-clad main building.
Grass covers the roof, blending into the surrounding Gloucestershire countryside.
Inside there is a large food hall, an expansive restaurant offering hot and cold food, as well as a children’s play area.
Open 24/7, hot food will be served from 6am until 9pm, with breakfast served until 11am.
Two tourist information points extolling the virtues of Gloucestershire feature, encouraging travellers to venture into the county.
“This is a project firmly rooted into the local community,” said Sarah.
“We see this as an amazing opportunity which, in many ways, will put Gloucestershire on the map.
“Being rooted here is very important.”
Oxfam estimates for every £1 spent on locally-grown food, £3 goes back into the local economy. For Gloucestershire that is a £7.8million annual boost.
£40million To build the two service stations.
£10million Benefit to charities over the next 20 years.
10,000 people estimated to visit on day one.
300 new jobs created across both sites.
265 car parking spaces plus 35 HGV spaces.
1000m2 of Cotswold stone was used in the project.
130 local producers involved from within a 30-mile radius of Gloucester Services.
4million people a year are expected to visit the services.
8 choices of freshly cooked main courses are among the food on offer.
A charitable trust serving Podsmead, Matson, White City, Quedgeley, Tuffley and Stonehouse will benefit to the tune of £10million over the next 20 years.
Charities including Play Gloucestershire, the Nelson Trust and the St James City farm are set to benefit from the new venture.
A proportion of the profits from the business will be ploughed back into the local community as part of the deal struck between Westmorland and the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust.
Mark Gale of the GGT said: “It is fantastic to see it opening. The vision came from the local
communities – it really is a great opportunity for Gloucestershire.
“We have the equivalent of the entire population of the UK passing by the back of Matson on the motorway but bringing
no benefit to the community.
“Now we have hundreds of new local jobs and an opportunity to showcase Gloucestershire to the rest of the world.”
Gloucester Services roll of suppliers:
Of the 200 produce suppliers to the new Gloucester Services, 130 are from within a 30-mile radius and a further 70 from the South West, including:
Eggs – John KIng, Abbotswood Farm
Beer, cider – Battledown Brewery
Biscuits, cakes – Beau’s Bakehouse
Cold drinks – Bensons
Cold drinks – Bottlegreen
Spirits – Brennon & Brown
Growers – Castle Fruit Farm
Cheese – Cerney Cheese
Cheese – Charles Martell & Sons
Deli counter – Cinderhil Farm
Chilled foods – Coln Valley Smokery
Patisserie – Contemporary Cake Designs
Beer, cider – Corinium Ales
Beer, cider – Cotswold Brewing Co
Beer, cider – Cotswold Cider
Beer, cider – Cotswold Finest
Soap – Cotswold Handmade soap
Beer, cider – Cotswold Lion Brewery
Biscuits, cakes – Cotswold Meringues
Frozen foods – Cotswold Traiteur
Dairy – Cotteswold Dairy
Goods – Creed Foodservice
Tea & Coffee – Ethical Addictions
Chilled foods – Felce Foods
Drinks – Five Valleys Cordials
Fruit and veg – Gloucester Veg
Beer, cider – Gloucester Brewery
Cheese – Godsell’s Church Farm Cheese
Toiletries – Green & Spring
Growers – Hayles Fruit Farms
Ice cream – Hillbrooks Ice Cream
Beer, cider – Hillside Brewery
Bakery – Hobbs House Bakery
Grocery – Hudnalls Apiaries
Grocery – J Dickenson & Sons
Dairy – Jess’s Ladies
Cheese – Jonathan Crump
Grocery – Kitchen Garden
Jewellery – Little Sewing Society, Cheltenham
Eggs – Local Yolks, GL4
Beer, cider – Mayfields Brewery
Beer, cider – McCrindle’s Cider
Beer, cider – Muddy Wellies
Deli – Native Breed
Dairy – Netherend Farm
Beer, cider – North Cotswold Brewery
Apple juice – Our Small Farm
Eggs – Overton Organic Eggs
Grocery – Paddock House
Deli – Plenty Pies, GL5
Growers – Primrose Vale
Grocery – Purely Pickled Eggs
Apple juice – Ragmans
Grocery – Relish the Taste
Fish – Samphire Fishmongers
Food – Severn & Wye Smokery
Meat – Severn Poultry
Cheese – Simon Weaver Organic
Accessories, jewellery – Stephanie Cole
Beer, cider – Stroud Brewery
Bags – Susie Fauks
Ceramics – Taena Pottery
Ceramics – Tara Jane Ceramics
Bakery – The Artisan Baker
Grocery – The Artisan Kitchen
Food – The Cotswold Pudding Co
Biscuits, cakes – The Hencha Company
Food – The Potted Game Co
Wine – The Three Choirs Vineyard
Beer, cider – Wickwar Brewing Co
Ice cream – Winstones Ice Cream
Dairy – Woodlands Farm