Work has started on the development of a £40m service station on the M5 motorway between junctions 11a and 12 at Brookthorpe in Gloucestershire.

The project is a partnership between a local charity, the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, and Westmorland Limited, which runs the Tebay service station on the M6 in Cumbria, and is the only family owned company to operate a UK motorway service station.

Income from the services will be used to support nearby communities and local charities, and the project will seek to create build-related and permanent jobs for the area.  

Westmorland chief executive Sarah Dunning said: “We are delighted the project is starting so that we can get the local community benefits flowing and help raise Gloucestershire’s profile with the 50 million of travellers who pass the site each year.”

Planning permission for the service station was originally granted in August 2010, but the scheme faced local objections and had to overcome a judicial review, which Westmorland says delayed the scheme by 18 months.

The northbound services will be developed first and will take around 15 months to build, opening in time for summer 2014.