Samworth Brothers Rural Action Award winners unveiled

Tebay and Gloucester Services have won the Samworth Brothers Rural Action Award, in recognition of their support for local rural communities.

The award was presented to the services founders, the Westmorland family, at the Business in the Community Responsible Awards event, staged at the Royal Albert Hall earlier this month.

The judges recognised that Tebay and Gloucester services were genuine rural champions, said Mary-Ann Kilby, executive director of Samworth Brothers Group.

The scale and the cope 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.

After remaining in place when the M6 was built through their farm in 1972, the Westmorland family established Tebay Services. The unique business has become known for selling locally produced food, rather than being a franchise-dominant forecourt like the majority of its competition. More than 500 people are employed at Tebays farm shop, with a minibus being offered for staff members from surrounding villages.

Following the success of Tebay Services, Westmorland decided to open up Gloucester services in 2014. Through a partnership with local charity, Gloucester Gateway Trust, the services runs training academies for the unemployed. Thirty per cent of their current staff has previously been long-term unemployed.

Additionally, Westmorlands charity work sees fresh produce grown, supplying the kitchens and staff with products.

Kilby continued: At Samworth Brothers we recognise the importance of a strong rural economy and were delighted to be able to support these awards.

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