The client is a further education college in Lincolnshire, England. The college has undergone a major transformation over the past decade, with a vision to create a modern, sustainable, and innovative learning environment.

As part of this vision, the college decided to upgrade its existing catering facilities, which were outdated, inefficient, and inadequate for the growing demand. The college wanted to create a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen that would serve as a teaching facility for the catering students, as well as a source of revenue for the college by providing catering services to the public and external clients. Due to the college previously being an old, A-listed prison, you can imagine the planning and engineering involved in the proposed works.


The main objectives of the new commercial kitchen project were:

· To provide a high-quality learning experience for the catering students, by exposing them to the latest equipment, technology, and industry standards.

· To enhance the reputation and attractiveness of the college, by showcasing its excellence in catering and hospitality education and service.

· To generate income for the college, by offering a range of catering options, such as breakfast, lunch, snacks, and events, to the public and external clients.

· To improve the efficiency, functionality, safety, sustainability, and aesthetics of the catering facilities, by optimizing the space, layout, materials, and equipment.


· Consultation & Design

· Project Management

· 1st & 2nd Fix

· Catering & Warewashing Equipment

· Fabrications

· Flooring

· Hygienic Wall Cladding

· Ventilation

· Fire Suppression

· Walk-in Refrigeration


We designed multiple versions of the new kitchen space for our client, to provide different varieties to which the college could decide which would be most suitable. The chosen design involved destroying various walls within the kitchen, creating openings and archways to maximise space for training and preparation.

Old prison cells were redesigned to incorporate walk-in refrigeration and ambient storerooms, the planning involved was paramount as the infrastructure could not be impeded due to the A-listed building.

The cookline would be replaced with a suited cookline for style and efficiency, and bespoke preparation stations were designed for individual student training.

One side of the kitchen would hold the main suited cookline and secondary cookline where the combination ovens were situated, the other side would host the training facilities such as the bespoke prep stations and bakery ovens.


Sylvester Keal were involved in the removal of the existing kitchen including waste management. Our engineers carried out the first and second fix of the main gas manifold and all plumbing works for the new kitchen layout.

As the A-listed building was once a prison, the infrastructure and building works were a challenge for all parties involved and we worked closely with the principal contractor to ensure that all areas were covered.

A fire suppression system was installed in the new canopy above the suited cookline which was all linked through the gas safety interlocking and onsite BMS.

A walk-in fridge/freezer was installed in a disused prison cell, this was made to measure, and the team did an outstanding job in completing the work successfully.


The results of the new commercial kitchen project have met or exceeded the initial objectives, and have demonstrated the strengths, opportunities, and benefits of the new commercial kitchen. The project has also identified some weaknesses and threats, such as:

Maintenance: The new commercial kitchen requires regular and proper maintenance, to ensure the performance, safety, and longevity of the equipment and materials.

Training: The new commercial kitchen requires ongoing and updated training, to ensure the skills, knowledge, and competence of the staff and students.

Competition: The new commercial kitchen faces competition from other catering providers, both within and outside the college, who may offer similar or better products and services.

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