A Cotswold Farmshop

Jo recently attended the Live Launch event of A Cotswold Farmshop, the new Channel 4 TV series, that shares stories from Gloucester Services, the partnership between Gloucester Gateway Trust and the Westmorland Family – the business behind Tebay Services in Cumbria.

It was such a special occasion for partners, trustees and friends of Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT) to celebrate the unique partnership, and the journey we’ve been on together – from vision to reality. Co-op Futures has been involved in that vision since the very start and Jo has been a trustee since 2009.

There’s a great clip on ITV which features Mark Gale, founder and Chief Executive of GGT, who originally approached the Westmorland Family to create the Gloucester Services with a similar ethos to Tebay, celebrating local people and produce.

He said: “We’d been looking at the motorway and it had always been a problem, so we thought about how we could turn this problem into an asset. Residents came up with this vision of how they could turn the motorway into an asset – an engine to drive local regeneration and local opportunities.”

The GGT receives 3p of every pound of non-fuel sales at the services and that money goes back into the community, with £3 million  re-invested so far. One example seen in the series is the ‘Bridging the Gap’ course, that helps people who experience barriers to work develop their skills, gain confidence, and have a guaranteed interview at Gloucester Services. Another side to the show shines a light on the producers who supply everything from local cheese and sparkling wine, to arancini and vegan pastries, and the local landscape and its unique livestock feature heavily too.

Mark said: “You’ll hear some really important stories of people who work here and a range of experiences and acknowledgement that everyone’s got something positive to offer.”

The series is on every Monday at 8pm on Channel 4 or you can binge watch it all on their streaming platform.