£75k package on offer for would-be entrepreneurs to ‘Cook up Success’ 

A search is on for wannabe Jamie Olivers to take advantage of a unique business opportunity to beat the economic downturn.

Budding entrepreneurs are being encouraged to apply for a rare opportunity to launch a thriving catering business on a busy south Wales construction site in a package worth £75,000 to the winner.

The ‘Cooking up Success’ campaign, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, is being run by construction group Costain in partnership with Wales’ leading business support agency, Venture Wales, and the University of Wales Institute Cardiff, (UWIC).

The partnership is looking for a motivated individual with the determination and stamina to run a successful catering business. They will serve hundreds of construction workers everyday at Costain’s Cross Inn Compound site, in Pontyclun, where the company is building the new Church Village by-pass, on behalf of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.

The successful applicant will win a business package worth £75,000 which will include access to a potential customer base of 250 Costain workers, a fully fitted catering unit with two canteens, free gas, water, electricity, and other running costs, together with expert business support and professional training.

Applicants will undergo a Dragon’s Den-style recruitment process, and will have to convince judges that they are the best person to win the support package and build the catering business.

Work on the bypass - the largest highway construction scheme being undertaken by a local authority in the UK - is already underway and the successful applicant will be up and running by the end of February.
Hard-working construction staff will expect the catering unit to offer a varied menu serving-up favourites such as full Welsh breakfasts, bacon butties, and a range of healthier alternatives.

Construction worker Kevin Williams is looking forward to munching his way through the winners’ menu. He said: “Construction work is hard graft so it’s really important we get a good breakfast and lunch to keep us going through the day. We’re looking forward to tucking into some tasty, home cooked food!”

When the bypass is completed in Autumn 2010, the site and catering unit will close. However, it is hoped the successful applicant will have developed the business and expanded into new premises creating a secure long-term future.

Applications are invited from first-time and experienced entrepreneurs with relevant catering experience.

Phil Cooper, Venture Wales’ managing director, speaking on behalf of the partnership, said: “This is a rare opportunity for the right person to start and grow their own catering business. The successful candidate will receive an excellent package of support, advice and training that will give them a fantastic head start in business, particularly in the current economic climate.”

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s cabinet member for transportation and customer care, cllr Andrew Morgan, said: “In the short-term the bypass has of course created many jobs and I’m pleased to see that one of our objectives of increasing local employment opportunities is being realised through this exciting initiative.”

For more information, or to apply, please contact Donna Jarman, Venture Wales on tel: 0845 0453 150, or visit the website: www.venturewales.com/opportunities

For further information contact Sarah Huckson, Press Officer, Tel: 029 2041 6221, or e-mail: shuckson@uwic.ac.uk
Web: http://www.uwic.ac.uk/