Wilson Vale secures first Cambridge college contract

Wilson Vale has gained its first Cambridge college. Clare Hall, a graduate college of the University of Cambridge, has appointed the independent caterers to provide catering services, following a challenging competitive tender process.

Under a contract valued at £500k in annual turnover, a team of ten Wilson Vale staff now provides a lunch, supper and a weekly formal dinner service to graduate students, Fellows, staff and visitors since the contract started on 2nd September 2019.

Wilson Vale will also cater for three annual feasts at Clare Hall and will work closely with College staff to provide catering support for conferences, meetings, private dinners and other events.

Situated in peaceful surroundings off Herschel Road in West Cambridge, in attractive listed buildings designed by British architect, Ralph Erskine, Clare Hall is one of Cambridge’s youngest colleges, founded in 1966. It is renowned for its informal approach to college life and for its international diversity.

Andrew Wilson, co-founder of Wilson Vale, said, “This is a significant milestone in our history to date. We are fortunate to have a strong presence in the Cambridge area; Clare Hall is our eleventh contract in the county but our first Cambridge college so it is a wonderful addition to our portfolio.

'Clare Hall’s sense of community is palpable, and the provision of quality food and a warm and friendly service is an important part of that. It’s about gathering diverse people together to share good food and to showcase the College’s high standards and the value it places on its community of people.”

The independent caterers are now working closely with their new client to explore the commercial development of the College as a venue.

“We have a strong presence within the conference and venues sector, so our vision is to support our new client in developing Clare Hall’s potential to become a venue in its own right,” added Wilson.

Bursar of Clare Hall, Ian Strachan, said, “The College is delighted to welcome Wilson Vale as our catering team, and they are already demonstrating what they can bring to Clare Hall, with imaginative varied menus, a focus on locally-sourced produce and an excellent team of chefs.

'Wilson Vale understands the ethos of the College, appreciates the importance of the Dining Hall to College life and has a team with the skills and experience to build on our reputation for the quality of our dining and hospitality.”