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Wilson Vale wins £1.75m Conference Aston contract

Biggest ever contract for expanding caterers, who take over from Sodexo at Birmingham residential conference centre

Pictured: Wilson Vale co-founders Carolyne Vale and Andrew Wilson with Samantha Brown of Conference Aston

Catering firm Wilson Vale is set to take over the £1.75 million full service contract at Conference Aston.

The three year contract is the single largest contract in Wilson Vale’s 14 year history, and sees the firm take over from the incumbents Sodexo at the 163-room residential conference centre at Aston University in Birmingham.

Andrew Wilson, co-founder of Wilson Vale, said: “This is a seriously special milestone for us. Over the last three years we have steadily developed our conference and venues portfolio so to have gained this flagship venue shows our understanding of the specific needs of this niche market.

“We were up against some industry heavyweights, and it is wonderful that Conference Aston has bought into our food and our culture to drive their business forward.”

Worth £1.75 million in annual turnover, the three-year contract is due to start on 1 August and will see Wilson Vale managing catering and hospitality services under a seven-day operation, as well as housekeeping and bar services. A team of 46 Wilson Vale staff will be involved in running the contract at the venue, which attracts up to 55,000 hotel guests and conference delegates each year. 

Samantha Brown, head of Conference Aston, said: “The business tourism sector in Birmingham is increasingly competitive, so it was vital that our contract partner for catering and housekeeping could provide the energy and creativity for us to stand out from the increasing number of conference hotels and continue to develop our first class service offer. Wilson Vale stood out during the tender process with their passion for fresh, local, homemade food and we are looking forward to taking our food offer across our restaurants and bar to exciting new places as we progress the partnership.”

The value of Wilson Vale’s conference portfolio has doubled over the last twelve months, representing 15 per cent of the business, with the remainder of the portfolio within business and industry and private education.

The company now employs 600 people and projected annual turnover is £23 million for 2016.

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