University offering rent-free campus space to food firms
Education: Decision sparked by success of Jamie Oliver deli
Robert Gordon University has launched a search for north-east food entrepreneurs who could follow in the footsteps of Jamie Oliver by setting up shop on campus.
The university is seeking local traders who may want to boost their business at its Garthdee campus, and is offering the use of several outlets to companies rentfree.
The move comes as part of a plan to offer more diverse food choices to students and staff.
In January, the Garthdee institution became the world’s first university to host a branch of Jamie Oliver’s Deli on campus, serving up breakfasts and lunch to hungry students.
And following positive feedback about the increase in dietary options available, the university is appealing to other companies who might want to set up shop.
Bill Somerville, director of estates and property services, said: “We have made the decision to target small and local businesses to see if there would be any interest in running a concession outlet.
“We have several outlets we are prepared to offer on a rent-free basis, giving access to the relatively captive market of 1,500 staff and 10,000 students.”
The move has been backed by RGU’s student union, whose president of communication and democracy, Ursula Ojiji, said: “I think this is a welcome development, which puts the needs of students forward and contributes to the promotion of local businesses on campus.”
University bosses say the project also supports the aims of the Sustainable Food City Partnership Aberdeen, which is a global initiative that tackles issues including poverty, obesity and diet-related ill health.
A spokeswoman said: “The university is committed to producing sustainable, local and responsibly sourced food, as well as reducing waste and the ecological footprint of the food system.”
“We have several outlets we are prepared to offer rent-free”