Cornwall Food Foundation closes with immediate effect

The charity that ran the Jamie Oliver-linked Fifteen Cornwall for 14 years has nominated liquidators and 80 jobs have been lost

Jamie Oliver at Fifteen Cornwall (Photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire/PA Images)
Jamie Oliver at Fifteen Cornwall (Photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire/PA Images)

The charity that ran the Fifteen Cornwall restaurant co-founded by the TV chef Jamie Oliver has announced that it is closing with immediate effect, with more than 80 jobs lost.

The Cornwall Food Foundation, which has run the restaurant for the past 14 years, said in a statement last week that it had nominated liquidators for the charity and restaurant after an independent financial review.

The restaurant, based near Newquay, was set up in 2006 by the charity and Oliver to train unemployed and disadvantaged workers as chefs.

The statement from the charity said it was talking to partner organisations to find a way to support the people the charity and restaurant helped or trained.

The Charity Commission website shows that the charity had income of £2.9m in the year to 31 January 2019, and spent £3m.

The accounts show that 82 staff were employed at the charity and the restaurant ran at a loss in 2018/19, with increased funding from the European Social Fund, InterReg Europe and Comic Relief offsetting "reduced financial contributions from the charity's trading subsidiary".

Customers who have purchased gift vouchers for the restaurant or paid a deposit for a future booking will be listed as unsecured creditors in the liquidation, the statement from the charity said.

The closure is unrelated to the financial problems in Oliver’s restaurant group, which went into administration earlier this year with the closure of numerous restaurants, including the majority of the UK branches of Oliver’s flagship Jamie’s Italian chain.

Matthew Thomson, chief executive of the Cornwall Food Foundation, said: "This is an incredibly sad day for everyone and we will try our best to support those who have been affected. I am profoundly sorry for the hurt, loss and distress this announcement will undoubtedly cause.

"We are extremely grateful to all our loyal customers and amazing suppliers and to the partners, staff and trainees who have made Fifteen Cornwall and the Cornwall Food Foundation so special for almost 14 years."

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