Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS TIMES to 80360 or email us
Trowbridge catering deal is thrown out
3:00pm Saturday 4th August 2012 in Latest News
A contract between caterers at the Trowbridge Civic Centre and Trowbridge Town Council has been scrapped in a bid to turn around the fortunes of the £5m venue.
There will no longer be one caterer for the venue after the provision by Crown Catering was criticised for being over-priced and badly run.
The café, which was run by the catering firm, has been closed with immediate effect while Civic Centre bosses work to reopen it under new management.
A united front was shown by town clerk Lance Allan and Darren Gadd, director of the catering firm, on Wednesday after they had entered earlier crisis talks.
The pair met after problems which had been brewing for months came to a head a fortnight ago when Wiltshire College revealed it was charged £18 for a bowl of nuts, a story which made national headlines.
In a joint statement Mr Gadd and Mr Allan said: “We have come to the decision it is not financially viable for either party to move forward at the Civic Centre.
“We will still work closely together in the future and have some weddings and large functions booked at the Civic Centre next year, for which Crown is delighted to be caterer.
“After trialling the current arrangements for the past six months both parties agreed having a sole caterer does not give enough flexibility for guests booking the civic centre. To carry on would not be as beneficial to the community as it should be and would not be financially viable to the caterers or the Town Council.”
Mr Gadd added: “We look forward to continuing to cater at the Civic Centre with clients whom we have already met and will meet.”
Mr Allan said: “We look forward to continuing to work with Crown Catering; however, this will be in a different way which is more financially viable.”
The news of the split is being passed onto customers this week. Laura Dyer, from Crown Catering, emailed one customer stating: “Crown Catering have decided we no longer wish to be the sole caterers due to circumstances that have arisen over the last couple of weeks.”
Town councillor Jeff Osborn said: “I never thought they were right for Trowbridge. They specialise in weddings in Cirencester when what we need is a caterer who is more down to earth and more akin with the people of Trowbridge.