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Gloucestershire Business News

National award for innovative business and charity partnership

Before it arrived beside the M5 in Gloucestershire the very idea of a motorway service station winning awards for excellence in business might have seemed unfathomable.

But since its inception the partnership between the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust and Westmorland completely re-thought just what can be achieved with the right ambition.

And now, following its success at the Business Charity Awards in May, the partnership behind Gloucester Services has won big again.

Its latest accolade comes via the Third Sector Excellence Awards. The business was shortlisted for the Corporate Partnership of the Year Award alongside high profile national business and charity partnerships including Center Parcs and Together for Short Lives, British Red Cross and Co-Op, and Asda, Fare Share and the Trussell Trust.

Mark Gale, CEO for Gloucestershire Gateway Trust said: "We're over the moon that this partnership award recognises that communities can use their assets to create something of scale that has a lasting impact.

"The fact that a charity and a business both have a stake in Gloucester Services has differentiated us in a very competitive field of finalists.

"Most importantly, this success highlights a new approach that can be replicated across the country to unlock a whole range of community assets.

"Businesses and charities committing to long-term partnerships which value each other's strengths could be an important new route for local people to realise long-standing aspirations to create positive long-term social benefit."

Sarah Dunning, co-chair for Westmorland, said: "It's a very exciting time for Gloucester, now in its fifth year we are very proud of everyone who has played a part in helping to build this incredible place and those yet to be part of our story as we continue to build on all the great things that have been achieved to date together."

Gloucester Services has exceeded its charitable goals and created over 400 jobs, employed over 80 people specifically from 'target' local communities, and supported over 130 local producers within 30 miles.

In the last 18 months over £700,000 has been reinvested into community projects and development activity in the target communities to support regeneration.

Local residents help decide how future funding is spent through Gloucestershire Gateway Trust's annual Community Survey and an additional £2.5 million will be committed to these communities over the next five years.

Gloucestershire Gateway Trust receive up to 3p in every £1 of non-fuel sales from Gloucester Services to invest in our local communities.

The Third Sector Excellence Awards were created by Third Sector to celebrate and honour the great work being done across the charity sector.

Over 300 entries were received for this year's awards and the ceremony in London on 19 September was a sell-out event.

Gloucestershire Gateway Trust is a community development charity, launched in 2007 to deliver the vision of creating a motorway services in Gloucestershire to support local regeneration. Over the next 20 years it aims to plough an estimated £10 million into sustainable community projects through our local charity partners.

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