Vocational Training Kitchens


The Clink, HMP Styal

Wilmslow, UK

The Clink is a charity which establishes a commercial kitchen and restaurant either within the prison or separate as with this de-consecrated 100 year old chapel at HMP Styal, whereby selected inmates are professionally trained to cook for or serve the customers with the goal of acquiring educational qualifications.  This is the first female institution which is to develop a Clink facility.

As a Professional Member of the Foodservice Consultants Society International Andrew Powis of Sterling Foodservice Design, in Joint Partnership with his wife Elaine, was appointed to design their fine dine catering facilities and non alcoholic bar at this new site.  They regarded it as being a great honour as well as a huge challenge for all those involved in the project.

The chapel is a stunning background but required a large amount of planning to ensure the open plan kitchen and associated services within a limited floor space, including a mezzanine floor with staff facilities, could be accommodated without harming the historic decorative features and mindful of all current legislation.  The open plan kitchen is a signature feature of The Clink’s concept which Sterling further developed into a state of the art facility, utilising their extensive knowledge and experience.  All equipment needed to reflect a modern traditional kitchen operation from goods inward, storage, preparation, cooking and dishwashing so that the inmates would be fully prepared for when they gain employment.

Several suppliers have already generously supported the previous Clink projects but Andrew and Elaine approached many who were unaware of the charity’s work and were more than willing to provide their equipment at cost or free of charge.  The total equipment kindly provided was in excess of £100,000.00.  All contributions will be recognised by being named on a “thank you” board in the restaurant’s entrance lobby as well as on their website.

Sterling specified a Leigh Tec Systems ventilated ceiling in order to provide an unobstructed view across the heated granite/ambient pass to the focal point of the Nayati one piece top cooking suite which incorporates an oven, pasta cookers, fryers, induction tops and gas hobs.  This ceiling accommodates a Fireworks fire suppression system which utilizes small unobtrusive nozzles in keeping with the concept.


One of the most important elements was the installation of the drainage channels and roll-grids made by Ado-Metal which are anti skid, anti splash and can be rolled up to be put in the dishwasher for sanitisation.  C & C Catering Equipment Limited were tasked with the supply of the fabricated stainless steel tables, sinks and pass counter to Sterling’s specification and also co-ordinating the majority of equipment deliveries and installation.

All the administration of the project was undertaken by Elaine to enable The Clink to place orders directly with the suppliers and she organised the training programme involving the suppliers in conjunction with the General Manager of Training & Openings which resulted in certificates being issued to the trainees.

Supervising the installation meant attendance at a number of site meetings with the whole employer and contractor teams during the initial enabling works and throughout the fit out period to completion.  This was to ensure that The Clink received the expected standard of installation which Sterling had set.


John Wheatley College

Glasgow, UK

Located in a regenerated area on the outskirts of Glasgow the new £14 million Campus needed to provide kitchen, restaurant and bar training facilities for 16 full time students and encompass an energy efficient approach. Each student is equipped with their own workstation incorporating a bench, sink, refrigerator and have access to UV knife sterilisers.

The central cooking plinth comprises Baron four burner gas ranges, griddles, their work benches and the illusion is of a one piece top but in fact every component has been seamlessly joined together and mounted on a plinth. Rise and fall salamanders are supported from the services distribution unit with a Rational combination oven and bake off oven completing the equipment requirements.


The ventilated ceiling, incorporating lighting, emergency lighting and extract and replacement air enhances the openness of the area and allows clear sight and communication between the occupants which could otherwise be hampered by an intrusive canopy.

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Walsall College

Wisemore Campus, Walsall, UK

The £64 million Campus provides an exceptional working environment and our involvement was to design a training kitchen including a bakery facility, production kitchen with ethnic cooking equipment, restaurant with bar, refectory, shop, staff tea points, hairdressing laundry, creche catering facilities and all ancillary support areas. As with all our projects the necessity for compliance with the Disability and Discrimination Act 2004 was paramount. The Campus is one of the first buildings in the UK to achieve a BREEAM (the Environmental Assessment Method For Buildings Around The World) kitemark.

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Tralee Institute of Technology

Co Kerry, Ireland

We worked with the award winning Tralee Institute of Technology, in designing and equipping a series of inter linked training kitchens for the new building, a key objective was to reflect the diversity of today’s foodservice industry in a safe, practical, student friendly training environment. The brief was to equip a single building with 3 x 18 student training kitchens, a bakery, 2 production kitchens, a demonstration kitchen, a central wash up for both crockery and glassware plus a 70 cover multi function restaurant and bar. The kitchens have to encompass everything from classic five star dining to bulk meal production, including speciality menu styles using woks, tandoor ovens and the latest baking and combination oven technology.

Our innovative mobile student stations consist of gastronorm size sinks with inset cutting boards to enable them to extend the workout area, undercounter 3 drawer refrigerators to train them on food segregation and either a mobile electric or gas range. All equipment is on quick disconnect hoses to allow for thorough cleaning or for the equipment to be interchangeable.

For these ground breaking facilities we were honoured with an FCSI “Excellence in Design” award.