Fifteen Cornwall has been shortlisted as a RegioStars 2014 Awards finalist. Representatives from Cornwall will travel to Brussels in October to present the project to a panel of judges and the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony next March.
The restaurant, at Watergate Bay, is a social enterprise which aims to inspire via food and offers a chance for disadvantaged young people to transform their lives by becoming chefs.
Run by the charity Cornwall Foundation of Promise (CFP), Fifteen Cornwall – which uses Jamie Oliver’s international brand – was originally set up using European Social and European Regional Development Fund (ESF and ERDF) investment. It continues to receive ESF Convergence for its Apprentice Programme which is also supported by mainstream funding Jobcentre Plus and Skills Funding Agency and 100% of the restaurant’s profits.
CEO Matthew Thomson said: “We are honoured to have been shortlisted for the Regiostars award. We do believe that this project is unique in Europe with the inspiration and involvement we have had from Jamie Oliver. We are enormously grateful to ESF for their support to the project and to our apprentices over the last seven years.”
Since May 2006, CFP has enrolled more than 140 apprentices with 70% still cooking today. The Fifteen Cornwall Apprenticeship Programme is currently training its eighth cohort of future chefs. Fifteen Cornwall also invests £1 million per annum back into the local economy through a 70% local sourcing policy and has created 80 jobs in addition to the 86 apprenticeships so far completed.