New ‘hub’ kitchen at St Gilbert’s Primary School to provide hot meals for other schools

A SCHOOL kitchen will be used to cook hot meals for pupils from other schools.

Lincolnshire County Council has granted itself permission to change the use of the kitchen at St Gilbert’s Primary School in Foundry Road, Stamford, so meals for other schools in the area can be made there.

The new “hub” kitchen will now be able to prepare up to 900 meals per day for schools without on-site cooking facilities.

Executive councillor for children’s services, Coun Patricia Bradwell, said: “Meals can now be transported from the kitchen site at Stamford St Gilbert’s which will mean many additional children throughout the area can enjoy locally sourced, freshly prepared school meals.

“These kitchen ‘hubs’ are important in allowing small local schools to access meals for their children and provide healthy, nourishing food to help them through the school day.”

Meals for St Gilbert’s pupils are currently cooked on site by Sleaford company The Farm Kitchen.

The council estimates the kitchen will provide an average of 500 meals for surrounding schools. This figure could rise at peak times, such as the end of the autumn term.

Meals will only be provided for council-run schools and the kitchen will only operate during term-time.

The kitchen building was converted from a classroom last year to provide the extra meals in line with Government plans to enable as many pupils as possible to eat freshly cooked hot school dinners.

Permission to supply other schools has already been granted to Malcolm Sargent Primary, Bourne Abbey Primary Academy and Linchfield Primary in Deeping St James. The council is negotiating contracts for all three sites and they are expected to start supplying other schools from Easter.

The council received seven letters from residents living next to St Gilbert’s objecting to the plans. Neighbours complained about noise and smells coming from the site.

As a result the council added a number of conditions when it granted the change of use.

A limit will be imposed on noise, the hours of operation will be restricted to 6.30am to 4.30pm and vehicle movement will be restricted to the hours of 7am until 6pm on weekdays only. Fencing will be put up around the kitchen area and utensils must be washed inside.