The National Bakery School has secured almost £1.7m of investment to redevelop its facilities at London’s South Bank.
The school, part of London South Bank University, will use the funding to create specialist teaching spaces for baking, confectionery and chocolate, as well as a demonstration bakery suitable for industry and public presentations.
Following a £200,000 grant given by the Garfield Weston Foundation, a charitable trust set up by the founders of Associated British Foods, in February this year, a further £1m has been donated by the University, accompanied by £450,000 from “various personal donors and companies”, according to the University.
The school needs to raise another £500,000 to meet its target of £2.2m.
John Marchant, head of the National Bakery School, said: “As of 21 November 2013, London South Bank University has formally approved the plans and time-scale for the redevelopment – and the National Bakery School has now secured £1.7m from the University and donors towards the redevelopment. This means we have now raised almost 75% of the total redevelopment costs of £2.2m.”
Work on the school is due to take place during the summer of 2014, allowing the new facilities to open in September. Marking the 120th anniversary of the National Bakery School, the facilities will be available to students and the baking industry as a whole.
Marchant added that, between now and the launch, a further £500,000 needs to be raised to create “a new National Bakery School which fully meets the needs of today’s bakery students and of the baking industry”.
Founded in 1894, the school has places for 60 undergraduate students, who spend 50% of their time on practical learning.
Current facilities include two bakery rooms with proving ovens, baking ovens, mixers, work benches and a pastry brake, and a lecture theatre, as well as three practical study rooms for the production of fermented goods, chocolate-making and confectionery.