Garry Phillips, our Chief Executive joined Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council on Monday, 24 October to see for themselves work starting on the £1.5m project to transform Southall Manor House into a centre of excellence for the hospitality industry.
The council and college have come together in partnership with the Mayor of London on the project and have teamed up with the restaurateur behind Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant, Jamie Grainger-Smith. The Mayor of London’s regeneration fund contributed £770,000 to the project.
Work has started on refurbishing and extending the building. A new purpose-built training kitchen and 80-seater restaurant will be constructed, as well as a large glazed extension at the rear for event hire. The east wing of the building will also be turned into an education and business centre, including conference facilities, meeting spaces and seminar rooms.
When work is finished next summer, the revitalised manor house will host a restaurant, landscaped pavilion and flexible function spaces open to the public. Underpinning all of this will be a range of apprenticeship, training and employment opportunities where people can experience working in a top-quality restaurant and events venue.
In addition, the disused toilet block at the front of the building will be turned in to a kiosk café serving hot and cold drinks and fresh seasonal food. This is scheduled to open early next year.
The project aims to build a network of relationships with other hotels, restaurants and companies, broadening the range of training opportunities in venues across the capital.
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council said: “This exciting project is part of our wider programme to improve Southall. The manor house is an historic landmark and our plans preserve and combine the best of the old building with a modern hospitality and dining experience designed to attract more people into this part of the borough.
“I know how much work has gone into these plans and I’m delighted to be here today to see it start to take shape.”
Garry Phillips, chief executive of Ealing, Hammersmith and West London’s College said: “Bringing the Manor House to life again is an exciting project for the area, and will bring much a needed learning resource directly into the community, bridging a number of skills gaps in the hospitality and catering industry.
"For me, the project is an ideal combination of old and new - the iconic manor house building and its new annex offer students and apprentices unrivalled surroundings and facilities in which to learn new skills. We are also forging strong links with local employers in order that we ensure that industry standards are maintained and exceeded.”
Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “This is an important step not just for this centre of excellence itself but also for Southall. The project builds upon the area’s unique character and will complement its thriving South Asian restaurant scene. It will equip people with essential skills that will enable them to access employment in the catering and hospitality industry.”
For more information on the project, and to stay up to date with its progress, go to www.southallmanorhouse.co.uk.