M5 Gloucester Services on course for a June opening
SIX months on and Gloucester's £40millon service station is starting to take shape.
The development, between M5 Junctions 11a and 12, is being built by Westmorland, which owns and runs Tebay services on the M6 in Cumbria, in partnership with Gloucestershire Gateway Trust.
The main structure has gone up, and its grass roof is being delivered this month. It will contain a farm shop, a butcher, food-to-go, toilets and a children's play area.
All building work, including the filling station, car parks, outside eating area and slip roads, is on track for the scheduled opening in June 2014, and there isn't a franchise in sight.
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Sarah Dunning, Westmorland chief executive, said: "We are really excited, it is really starting to take shape. We have got to deliver something great, on budget, and on time, and I'm confident we can do all of those things."
She added: "Unlike at Tebay, here in Gloucester we are building from scratch. But although the buildings will have that new feel to them, they will still feel crafted. What we have done in Tebay is attempt to reflect the locality and we want to do exactly the same here."
Managers at the services are scouting the county for at least 60 producers, supplying anything from pies to ice cream and milk.
Mark Gale, chief executive of Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, is pleased to see the project coming together.
He said: "It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase all that is good about Gloucester. There will be 28million people driving by here every year and two million of them will be popping in so we are making sure the services reflect its sense of place."
Engineer Dan Stevens from Churchdown commutes to Bristol every day for work.
The 32-year-old said: "It will be good to have a different kind of service station on offer and it seems like they are doing some innovative things there. I'm not totally convinced though that consumers will pay too much attention when they stop there. Personally I think you stop at a service station for convenience and location more than anything else."