Skip to Main Content

The client

Extra MSA Group is a motorway service area (MSA) developer and operator in the UK who are driven by delivering excellent experiences for their visitors.

Leeds Skelton Lake Services is an environmentally friendly addition to Extra MSA’s estate, and features a living roof in a lakeside location. All Extra sites offer EV charging from IONITY.

The challenge

Having successfully supported Extra MSA’s proposals to develop a £50m motorway service area on the M1 through public affairs and stakeholder engagement activity, we have been retained by the Group to provide full-service marketing and communications support across its estate of eight motorway service areas (MSAs) since 2015.

Over the last year or so, Extra saw levels of footfall return to pre-Covid levels, as people began travelling and using rest stops more frequently again. However, with ambitious growth targets to meet, it needed to better understand consumer brand perceptions and drivers, in order to attract more traffic. As its Leeds Skelton Lake services had opened in the midst of the pandemic, there was also a requirement to effectively communicate this location’s USPs and develop a strong brand identity.

The solution

We began by conducting informal ‘on the ground’ research with current customers to understand both their reasons for stopping and the areas in which Leeds Skelton Lake sets itself apart from competitors. This allowed us to develop some key communications themes, centred around EV charging and sustainability, accessibility, brand line-up and open green space.

Across our programme of PPC, digital ads, social media, outdoor advertising and communications, we maintained a consistent brand identity which frequently referenced these themes, adapting our collateral regularly to communicate key milestones such as new brand openings, as well as reactively engaging with tenant brands and consumers on social media, to generate maximum exposure.

We most recently worked with a research partner to conduct an in-depth survey of 300 Leeds Skelton Lake customers. The findings for this are currently being used to further supplement our marketing strategy and refine our tactics, with a view to continuing to increase traffic and ROI, as well as driving consideration of Extra as an inclusive, accessible and accommodating rest stop .

The impact


Footfall increase year on year


PR reach


Increase in social media followers

Footfall to Leeds Skelton Lake is up 15% compared with this time last year. It has frequently been featured in the likes of the Yorkshire Evening Post, LeedsLive and in key trade media such as Fleet World and Forecourt Trader.

In our work for the whole Extra estate, we’ve delivered a 481% increase in social media followers over the last year through consistently engaging content and partnering with tenant brands to host regular competitions. Our coverage achieved over the last year has reached an audience of approximately 500m, and 78k clicks have been delivered to the Extra website via digital ads.

Extra was also recently crowned the UK’s #1 Motorway Services Operator by independent watchdog, Transport Focus.

We will be continuing to work with Extra on a retained basis and have plans to conduct similar research at some of its other locations to ensure maximum impact and ROI for the client.