Tebay and Gloucester Services were awarded the Samworth Brothers Rural Action Award last night at the prestigious Responsible Business Awards.
Run by charity Business in the Community (BITC), the Responsible Business Awards are the UK’s longest-running and most respected corporate responsibility awards, championing UK businesses that tackle key social and environmental issues.
Tebay Services and Gloucester Services were one of only 4 companies shortlisted in the Samworth Brothers Rural Action Award, which recognises businesses that support rural communities to maintain a vibrant, sustainable and prosperous rural economy for the benefit of future generations. The businesses were praised for their ‘brave and revolutionary’ approach to business in the community.
Mary-Ann Kilby, Chair of Judges, said “Gloucester and Tebay are 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 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.”
The services’ story began in 1972 when Sarah Dunning’s parents, local farmers, set up Tebay Services when the M6 cut though their farm. It was the first family run motorway service station business on the UK network. From the beginning, its approach has been in stark contrast to the rest of the industry and the business has become known for its innovative approach, its commitment to local, quality food and its integration into both landscape and community.
In May 2014 the family opened Gloucester Services on the M5. Community integration was again top of the agenda here. The family teamed up with Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, in a pioneering charity collaboration aiming to help some of the most disadvantaged communities in the area. Through the partnership, the charity stands to gain around £10 million pounds over 20 years to spend on local community initiatives.
Commenting on their award win, CEO Sarah Dunning said “we are very proud to have been recognised by Business in the Community. Working responsibly and hand in hand with local people and businesses is central to our approach and we are delighted to have won.”
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “The Responsible Business Awards give much needed visibility to organisations who are putting responsible behaviour at the heart of how they do business. The finalists are each playing their part to create a fairer society and more sustainable future by bringing to life the practical role that businesses can take to address some of our most pressing issues. We congratulate Tebay and Gloucester Services for being an inspirational example for others to learn from.”