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15 May 2009

Hotel school plan for Wivenhoe House

Colchester Campus

Wivenhoe House Hotel

Multi-million pound plans to transform Wivenhoe House Hotel into a boutique hotel combined with a world class training facility for the future leaders of the hospitality industry are being progressed by the University.

Working with independent education foundation Edge, the University aims to develop a unique hotel school on the Colchester Campus. Edge is dedicated to raising the status of practical and vocational learning so all young people can reach their potential.

The plans involve a major refurbishment of the eighteenth century Wivenhoe House. A hotel school is a new concept in the UK, but is modelled on similar schools in Europe and the USA. It would create a conservatoire for the hospitality sector providing practical training and education, on the foundation of a commercially vibrant hotel.

If the plans proceed, Wivenhoe House Hotel will close in early 2010 for refurbishment and re-open as The Edge Hotel School in Spring 2011. The hotel will remain fully open for business throughout 2009.

Under the plans, a full range of vocational training programmes including further education, foundation and undergraduate degrees, and postgraduate level training could be provided for up to 300 students. Courses would include hotel management, conference and event management and culinary arts.

The University Council agreed to form a partnership with the Edge Foundation last month. Edge is a lead partner in the National Skills Academy for Hospitality, established in 2008, and the hotel school would feature as one of its core facilities, leading the way with employer-led education and training.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: ‘This innovative partnership could provide new opportunities for top class vocational training in Colchester, while investing in a first-rate hotel to serve the eastern region, as well as providing a superb facility for University visitors.’


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