Fifteen Foundation drops expansion plans

Jamie Oliver's social enterprise cancels a proposed new restaurant in Leeds

TV chef Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Foundation, which trains disadvantaged young people to work in the restaurant business, has abandoned plans to open a new restaurant.

The social enterprise agreed a business plan to open a fifth venue in Leeds, but has scrapped it because it was unable to raise sufficient cash. Fifteen had identified a site for the new venue but that has gone to another party.

Penny Newman, chief executive of the foundation, said the decision was made necessary by the economic climate. "We had to decide whether to concentrate our efforts on our existing businesses or divert some of them to a new venture," she said. "We think it is prudent to focus on our existing restaurants for the time being."

The charity hoped to expand when the economic climate was more favourable, added Newman.

The Fifteen Foundation uses its profits to fund an in-house apprenticeship scheme for people who have experienced personal, social and educational difficulties.

It has restaurants in London, Newquay in Cornwall, Amsterdam and Melbourne.

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