Friday, June 28, 2013

News: Ministry of Food Rotherham closed temporarily


The Ministry of Food in Rotherham town centre, which provides healthy cooking courses, was closed this week to allow for a review of the All Saints' Square premises.

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. Since then it has shown more than 10,000 people how to cook.

It became a social enterprise in 2010, enabling it to achieve financial stability and to bid for funding. It is still supported by the chef and his team as well as Rotherham Council, the NHS and Rotherham College of Arts and Technology. In 2012 it secured £80,000 from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) to help people to increase their cooking skills.

The shutters came down on Wednesday due to what the union, GMB described as "health and safety fears relating to the condition of the premises."

A council spokesperson said: "As the welfare of the staff and the public is our main priority, the shop has been closed to enable a full survey of the premises to be carried out. This is to ensure that the building continues to be suitable to run the Jamie's Ministry of Food cooking programme.

"The seven staff and the trade unions have obviously been consulted."

Rotherham Borough Council are working with the Jamie Oliver Foundation so that the centre can reopen at the earliest opportunity.

In a statement, the GMB added: "The GMB have become aware that Health and Safety issues have been brought to the attention of RMBC (who employs the staff) on previous occasions and have only taken action since one of the members of staff had an accident on the premises. The GMB firmly believes that the course of action that has been taken is reactive rather than the sensible proactive approach RMBC usually takes with issues of Health and Safety.

"The GMB is also aware that the future of the Ministry of Food project is uncertain for financial reasons and we would hope that these Health and Safety issues are not used as an excuse to remove support for the very successful project."

Ministry of Food Rotherham website

Images: Ministry of Food Rotherham / Facebook


Unknown June 30, 2013 at 7:25 PM  

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