Bank invests in school dinners

13th March 1998 at 00:00
A private company is to take over, renovate and run a local authority's catering service, under a ground-breaking deal signed between Lewisham Council and the specialist education caterers Chartwell's.

In the first catering contract to be awarded under the Government's Private Finance Initiative, the outer London borough will pay Chartwell's a monthly fee for 10 years to provide school meals and meals-on-wheels.

Using finance from investment bank Guiness Mahon, Chartwell's will invest pound;4.2 million in improving the council's 67 kitchens and serving areas. The changes will affect 97 primary and secondary schools, nurseries and early-years centres, seven day-care centres and staff catering outlets.

"Without this (deal) we would not have the money to make these substantial improvements to our catering service," council leader Jim Mallory said.

Lewisham's catering is currently run by the council and serves more than 3.2m meals a year to more than 20,000 pupils and old people.

A PFI scheme must involve a substantial transfer of risk from the public to the private sector. In this case, the risk is being assumed not by Chartwell's but by the investment bank Guiness Mahon.

Biddy Passmore

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today