Applauded for rural excellence

Samworth Brothers Rural Action Award winner announced

Posted in News

The Westmorland business celebrates winning the Samworth Brothers Rural Action Award at the Business in the Community Responsible Awards event for its inspirational programmes at Tebay and Gloucester Services. 

Tebay Services was set up by the Westmorland family in 1972 when the M6 was built through their farm. Tebay has gone on to become a unique and iconic model for a service station business. Instead of a forecourt packed with chains, franchises and fast food, Tebay’s farm shop is stocked with locally produced food, employing 550 local people, and even offering a free mini bus service for workers to get in from the surrounding villages.

The judges were highly impressed by the way that the ethos of supporting the local rural communities is embedded into the very core of this business. Samworth Brothers Group Executive Director Mary-Ann Kilby, who presented the award, commented; “The judges recognised that Tebay and Gloucester services were genuine rural champions. The scale and the scope of their project is transformational, and the level of investment relative to the size of the business is remarkable. The focus on working with the local rural communities around the sites of Tebay and Gloucester services is making a significant difference to both the company and the community and much of what they do could be replicated by other businesses across a range of sectors.  At Samworth Brothers we recognise the importance of a strong rural economy and were delighted to be able to support these Awards.”

In 2014 Westmorland decided to extend the model beyond Tebay and opened Gloucester Services on the M5. This was a remarkably large project for the size of the business but has nevertheless been an overwhelming success. The community ethos and sustainable practices of Tebay have been continued and strengthened by an ongoing partnership with local charity the Gloucester Gateway Trust. Through this partnership, Gloucester Services has run training academies for unemployed people - 30% of its current staff were previously long term unemployed. Westmorland are also working with the charity for workers to grow fresh produce to supply the kitchens and staff the services. Westmorland work with 130 local suppliers within 30 miles of the site.

For further information on the Samworth Brothers Rural Action award and the other Responsible Business finalists go to; 
http://www.bitc.org.uk/services/awards-recognition/responsible-business-awards/award-stories/samworth-brothers-rural-action-award-2015
Applauded for rural excellence