£330k school kitchen unused for a year

A primary school that spent £330,000 on a major kitchen re-fit still hasn’t cooked from the facility more than a year after the project was completed.

Gonerby Hill Foot Primary School in Lincolnshire installed a range of state-of-the-art kit, including combi ovens and other commercial cooking equipment, but none of it has been put to use as the local caterer appointed to provide meals from the kitchen has been embroiled in a tax dispute.

A problem between the food supplier, Lincolnshire County Council and the tax department was due to be resolved back in January, but nine months on the kitchen remains dormant.

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This week it was reported that the same supplier had now backed out of providing school meals from the kitchens for this academic year.

Director of children’s services, Debbie Barnes, told The Grantham Journal said the supplier had “reluctantly” decided to withdraw from the kitchen tenders to supply school meals from the kitchen. “This is due to a number of reasons including continued delays over planning, land leases and contract issues,” she said.

A new supplier, Food 4 Thought Catering based in West Yorkshire, has now agreed to step in to fill the gap, but it will be another few months before the kitchen is firing on all cylinders as the contract doesn’t begin until January 1st.

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