Motorway Services Online


Locations:up to 11
Predecessors:Top Rank
Pavilion's colour scheme lives on at Aust.

Pavilion, formed by Michael Guthrie (former CEO of Mecca), bought the service areas formerly owned by Rank.

The new company said they wanted to create a "holiday atmosphere", with bright green branding inside, and areas called 'STORE' and 'Pavilion Restaurant'. They were the first operator to embrace introducing high street brands to their sites, including Pizzaland and Burger King.

Curiously, of the 11 services they owned, 5 had their names changed. Its not clear whether this was Pavilion's strategy to improve their reputation.


By 1995 the cost of all these services had hit them hard and all of their services were bought by Granada, who took the ideas further and chased up 24 pending planning permission applications which had all been created by Pavilion.

They began to look for a buyer just a year after forming, with all four operators at the time expanding rapidly, they feared they could be about to be squeezed out of the competitive market.

As part of the takeover, Granada agreed to sell their Magor and Pavilion's Bolton West and Severn View.

The move, for the first time, knocked Welcome Break to second position as the UK's largest MSA operator. They said that they had considered buying Pavilion but backed off because they didn't want to be investigated by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. Only a few months later, Granada bought Welcome Break and consequently featured in a lengthy investigation by the Commission, who told Granada to sell off many sites.

Pavilion also had two smaller services on the A1 and A55 which were shrunk and sold off to Trusthouse Forte.


The following services were owned by Pavilion: