Gloucester Services became the first motorway site to win the top prize at the prestigious Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards, held last month at the London Hilton Park Lane.

On a sell-out glittering night hosted by TV celebrity Alexander Armstrong, and with a space-themed backdrop, Laurence King, managing director of the company behind the M5 development, Westmorland Ltd, also picked up the prize for Retailer Champion, supported by the event’s principal sponsor Certas Energy, following an online vote by the readers of Forecourt Trader.

Judges said Gloucester Services, which was recently officially opened by Prince Charles, was completely unique among the motorway network, and challenging the norm, with its dedication to local food, farming and the surrounding community. It has two main aims to make local, quality food accessible and affordable to everyone on the move; and to inject vital investment back into the surrounding community thanks to a unique partnership with Gloucestershire Gateway Trust.

Forecourt Trader editor and chairman of the judges, Merril Boulton, said: "Gloucester Services is the antithesis of today’s normal motorway services areas or any other forecourt in the land. There is no clutter of famous coffee or foodservice brands clamouring for your attention; there is no piped music.

"There is space, there is calm, there are scenic views. There is a farm shop, a butchers, a cheesemonger; there are freshly made scones and elderflower cordial; a mouthwatering menu of ’home-cooked’ options to sit and eat as you look out at the countryside scenes and fountain of flowing water. There are dry-stone walls and wooden beams and a meadow on the forecourt roof! This is something really special. There is no question that Gloucester Services should be the Forecourt Trader of the Year in 2015. Amazing entry, amazing business ethos."

Awards Winners 2015

forecourt trader of the year 2015
Laurence King, Gloucester Services
scotland up to 4mlpa
David Penny, Penny Petroleum, Auld Brig Filling Station
scotland 4mlpa-plus
Senga Mulrine, Gulf Carronvale
northern ireland up to 4mlpa
Gary Thornton, Casey’s Eurospar Crossmaglen
northern ireland 4mlpa-plus
Daniel Mellor, Spar Ballyclare Milestone
midlands up to 4mlpa
Paul & Pinda Cheema, Malcolm’s Stores Nisa Local
midlands 4mlpa-plus
Jan Hawthorne, HKS Sandringham
northern england up to 4mlpa
Joseph Richardson, Jos Richardson & Son, Filey S/Station
northern england 4mlpa-plus
Rocky Leach, Chellow Heights Service Station
west country & wales up to 4mlpa
Simon Lunn, GH Lunn & Son, Axbridge
west country & Wales 4mlpa-plus
Jonathan Tout, Tout’s Budgens of Langford
london & south east up to 4mlpa
Merwin Amirtharaja, Canvey Island Service Station
london & south east 4mlpa-plus
David Charman, Parkfoot Garage Ltd
motorway services
Laurence King, Gloucester Services
best care care & lubricants outlet
Nick Fraser, Fraser’s Budgens of Marlborough
best community engagement
Laurence King, Gloucester Services
best customer service
James Kay, HKS Meteor
best design & development
Laurence King, Gloucester Services
best food-to-go outlet
Gary Thornton, Casey’s Eurospar Crossmaglen
best forecourt innovation
Jonathan Tout, Tout’s Budgens of Langford
best hot beverages outlet
Antonie Hoyle, Exelby Services Coneygarth
best site manager
Jan Hawthorne, HKS Sandringham
best soft drinks outlet
Marcus Burnley-Lowe, Spar Battlefield
best valeting facilities
Brian Tew, Highworth Filling Station
best forecourt fuel brand (consumer vote)
retailer champion (reader vote)
Laurence King, Westmorland Ltd
best oil company initiative
Winner: Shell Highly Commended: Jet