20 September 2012

Royal opening for Wivenhoe House and the Edge Hotel School

His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent KG officially opened the newly-restored Wivenhoe House hotel, home of the Edge Hotel School, in Colchester today.

The UK’s first hotel school where degree students combine their studies with work in a commercial luxury hotel, the Edge Hotel School is where the future leaders of the hospitality industry will learn their profession.

A partnership between the University of Essex, its academic partner Kaplan, and the Edge Foundation, the Edge Hotel School took its first students in June and July, allowing them to be involved in opening a new hotel.

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His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent KG meets students Andrea Tye and Martin Kilgariff from the Edge Hotel School.

Andrea Tye, 28, from Tiptree, who is studying for a BA in Culinary Management, said: “ At the moment I am still really living the dream, everything I could have possibly have wanted in terms of a course and work experience is here.”

Andrea, who escorted the Royal visitor around the hotel, added: "It was really good to meet HRH The Duke of Kent. He seemed really interested in what we are doing." Martin Kilgariff, 20, who also showed HRH around the public rooms and two of the bedrooms, said: “He found the whole idea of The Edge Hotel School extremely interesting. He was very keen to know of my experience in the hospitality industry.”

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General manager Stephen Mannock shows His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent KG around Wivenhoe House.

Students of the Edge Hotel School are working towards fast-track two year degrees, learning by doing through combining academic study with working in all areas of the hotel and restaurants, supervised by leading industry professionals. The hotel school curriculum has been developed in collaboration with employers and industry leaders and with industry needs in mind.

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His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent KG unveils the plaque marking the opening of Wivenhoe House and the Edge Hotel School.

The eighteenth century Wivenhoe House, in Colchester, which was painted by John Constable, has undergone a £10 million-plus refurbishment, restoring it to its Georgian and Victorian grandeur.

The Duke of Kent met representatives of the three partners involved in establishing the Edge Hotel School, unveiled a plaque and signed the Visitors’ Book, before having lunch in the hotel’s Signatures Restaurant, prepared by Executive Chef Paul Boorman.

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His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent KG meets Lord Kenneth Baker, chairman of Edge.

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