Second helping for Taste Academy after closure
24 October 2012 |
Read more articles by Matt Jones
A FLAGSHIP back-to-work programme is set to re-open in Rhyl.
Last week Rhyl’s Taste Academy restaurant was shut after the Rathbone Cymru youth charity announced its funding had been withdrawn.
Now partners Rhyl City Strategy said they are looking to re-open the Taste Academy in early December as a new social enterprise.
Ali Thomas, programme manager, said: “We are extremely excited to be leading the redevelopment of Taste Academy.
“Taste provides quality hospitality and catering training in a real work environment, giving individuals who are at a distance from the labour market a valuable stepping stone to employment in the industry.
“Rhyl City Strategy is now working with partners to set up a new social enterprise which will be taking over operations at Taste.”
The East Parade restaurant opened in April last year and has welcomed thousands of diners and helped 68 unemployed youngsters find work.
Rhyl City Strategy created the training restaurant and cafe after receiving funding from Welsh Government and the Substance Misuse Action Team.
Rathbone had been running it since May 2011.
Vale of Clwyd Assembly Member Ann Jones said: “Taste Academy did good work, it provided real work experience and the project engaged 68 learners whilst it was open.
“Rathbone were always aware their funding to provide the service was due to end and that is was not supposed to fund them for years on end. I worked tirelessly with them to look for alternatives.
“But the facts are simple; Rathbone didn’t plan ahead and didn’t develop the social enterprise side of the business, meaning they made big losses.
“Having been in contact with the brilliant Rhyl City Strategy throughout this process, I am reassured by their continued commitment to the community and their deep determination to get the academy back open for business – they have my full support.”
Taste Academy will be recruiting a core team of staff to run operations at the training restaurant and cafe.
Posts will be advertised soon at www.rhylcitystrategy.co.uk.