Category sponsored by bid_in group
What was the partnership?
Ten years ago, the family business Westmorland formed a unique partnership with the small local charity the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust to set up a motorway service station like no other. Gloucester Services was established to support communities close to the M5 that face severe social and economic challenges, including low economic activity, lack of qualifications and low levels of aspiration. The concept was driven by the communities themselves, members of which wanted to turn the M5 into an asset to create local jobs and a sustainable income.
What did they do?
Westmorland brought expertise in farming and food, and experience in working with local producers, as well as financial investment, while GGT provided the site, a shared community vision and hundreds of local residents who actively campaigned to turn this vision into a reality. Gloucester Services has become a key community asset hosting community growing spaces, galleries, community and school events, and generating jobs and community investment.
What has been the impact of the partnership?
The partnership has created more than 400 jobs, employed more than 80 people from disadvantaged local communities and supported more than 130 producers within 30 miles of the services and a further 70 within the region. In the past 18 months, more than £700,000 has been reinvested into community projects and development activity in the target communities to support regeneration. Local residents help to decide how future funding is spent through an annual community survey and an additional £2.5m will be committed to these communities over the next five years.
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