Tuesday, August 5, 2014

News: Rotherham Ministry of Food reopening with Zest

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Building work is taking place at Rotherham's Ministry of Food in preparation for its reopening in the autumn.

The All Saints Square premises are currently undergoing a "refresh" that includes redecoration, new appliances donated by Samsung UK and a new shop frontage in time for September.

The centre opened in 2008 as part of Jamie Oliver's TV series and remained open with the help of £130,000 a year from Rotherham Council. It became a social enterprise in 2010, enabling it to achieve financial stability and to bid for funding.

It was closed "temporarily" last summer amid health and safety concerns but is yet to reopen.

Now Leeds-based charity, Zest - Health for Life has secured the contract to run cookery courses and training activities from the Rotherham town centre base. It is not yet clear if the centre will offer food for sale as the previous operation also included a café.

Susie Brown, chief executive officer of Zest, said: "We are really looking forward to introducing the new team to the public of Rotherham and getting as many people as possible involved in the next exciting phase of the Ministry of Food concept in the town.

"We are taking the project back to the basics of teaching cookery skills, budgeting and healthy eating, and believe everyone can learn something from one of our fun and friendly courses."

Joanna Saunders, head of health improvement at Rotherham Council, added: "We know rising obesity is a problem across the country, including here in Rotherham.

"But we are committed to working with the Jamie Oliver Foundation and Zest to tackle this by encouraging local people to cook and eat healthy food and by providing training activities in local communities.

"The building is now fit-for-purpose and the new partnership will allow the authority to move on to an exciting new chapter of healthy cooking and eating across the Borough."

Zest website

Images: Ministry of Food Rotherham

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