Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food Project in Rotherham Opens Again

29 Sep 2014

Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food project in Rotherham has reopened after it temporarily closed down last year because of health and safety concerns. The healthy eating project closed in June 2013 after a member of staff tumbled on a broken step forcing an inquiry by Rotherham Borough Council. The GMB union said concerns had centred around a missing stair nose which had been repeatedly reported to bosses.

The council said the premises, on All Saints Square, had been refurbished and it had invested an undisclosed sum to renovate the premises, which also included a new kitchen. It was reopened by Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr John Foden and celebrity chef Gennaro Contaldo, Jamie Oliver’s former mentor. The project is now being run by Leeds-based charity Zest, which also operates a Ministry of Food initiative in the city.

Joanna Saunders, head of health improvement at Rotherham Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to see the centre reopening and getting back on track addressing health inequalities in Rotherham. The council is investing in the centre and has commissioned Zest - Health for Life, the organisation responsible for the successful Ministry of Food Leeds project, to ensure the project delivers a quality health intervention in an attractive central food centre.” Neil Lovell, from the Jamie Oliver Foundation, said he was “thrilled to see the centre” reopen.

The TV chef opened the Ministry of Food project in Rotherham in July 2008 to encourage people to increase their knowledge of food and how to cook. His PR company said the project was not funded by the chef.