Featured vacancies:

Packaging Technologist, Food, 3-month FTC
, London
, £300
 - £350
per annum
Health & Safety Officer, Food Manufacturing
, North Yorkshire
, £30000
 - £35000
per annum
Account Executive, Food Manufacturing
, Cambridgeshire
, £25000
 - £31000
per annum
 + Bonus & great package
Innovation & Technical Lead
, Hertfordshire
, £65000
 - £85000
per annum
 + Package
Process Technologist, Food Manufacturing
, Norfolk
, £30000
 - £35000
per annum
Senior Process Technologist, Food Manufacturing
, Cornwall
, £35000
 - £40000
per annum
Jamie's Ministry of Food Bradford Closure

Jamie's Ministry of Food Bradford Closure

The Ministry of Food in Bradford, launched by Jamie Oliver in 2009, has now closed due to budget cuts from the council.

The healthy cooking initiative was scrapped in November 2016 after eight years in operation.

Health cooking education

The Ministry of Food in Bradford is one of several such initiatives around the UK. Started in 2009 after Jamie Oliver’s television show of the same name, it aimed to tackle education in areas that were shown to be poor for healthy cooking.Front of Jamies Italian restaurant

Based on John Street, the Bradford branch was a place where people could find food jobs, learn how to cook at home, and get a start in cooking for the very first time with school visits.

The final sessions at the centre were finished with a party to celebrate the achievements made by the whole team over the eight years it has been in operation.

However, despite their efforts, statistics show that more than 40% of children in Bradford are either obese or overweight when they leave school. More than 700 children have visited the team to learn about healthy eating in the past year, but more work is clearly needed.

“That’s what’s so hard about walking away from this project,” says manager Soraya Overend. “We have seen so many people come through the doors. We know it works because we see so many success stories – people come back to ask us for more recipes and tell us what they have been cooking. We know that we have made an impact, the whole team is so dedicated. But we understand that there’s no money there. We are just the tip of the iceberg, lots of other organisations have lost their funding through the cuts too.”

Budget cuts

The local council decided to make £82m in budget cuts in November 2016, and that meant many initiatives had to go.

“Due to the continuing government cuts to our district, we are having to find another £30.7m over the next two years,” said Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing. “This is in addition to the £256m worth of cuts we have had to make since 2010. Meanwhile we have growing demands for vital services, for example in caring for the elderly and looking after vulnerable children, and we are also committed to maintaining other valued services which residents rightly expect to receive. Faced with competing priorities and a shrinking budget to fund them, the decision was taken that sadly we can no longer afford to fund the Ministry of Food scheme at this time. Helping people to live healthier lives remains of great importance to us which is why we have established the Healthy Bradford Plan. This plan is around delivering changes to make being healthy easier for everyone. This includes encouraging primary schools to take up the Daily Mile to help make schools in the district healthier, happier and great places to learn.  It will help schools raise attainment levels, reduce childhood obesity and make a happy environment for them to learn in.”

There are three workers at the centre who will now be on the lookout for food recruitment opportunities, though Soraya has promised to seek out funding from the project from another source if possible.

She said: “It’s probably been our busiest year working with children and even if we only helped 200 of those 700 children learn more about healthy eating, our job is done. It’s the social aspect of it as well, not just learning how to cook. We eat the food together after we cook and we have a chat.”

About this article

Read time


Latest news

Supply Chain jobs
Supply chain jobs come in all shapes and sizes. We recruit for roles within the Supply Chain function from junior management roles to board level positions. Are you an experienced supply chain specialist looking for an exciting and rewarding career in the food industry? The food industry is a sector with many exciting opportunities for...
sales and marketing jobs light bulbs
The food industry is a fast-paced, constantly evolving sector, which means that working in sales and marketing jobs in this field are incredibly rewarding. The challenging environment allows you to thrive and learn something new every day and the knowledge gained in this sector can be invaluable for your future career. If you’re looking for...
Food inflation below 10% - lady shopping
It’s an exciting time for food industry professionals in the UK The latest news from the British food sector is that there has been an increase in the number of food manufacturing jobs available in the last year. 2023 has been an especially big year for growth and innovation that will shape the future of...
Food finance jobs
Looking at food finance jobs are an excellent choice of career for anyone looking for a job that holds potential to grow and evolve. From major manufacturers to small-scale food producers, there’s a lot of exciting opportunities to explore. The food industry is booming, with sales in the UK reaching record highs in recent years....
Hotel Chocolat founders have agreed a takeover with Mars. Mars will take over the business and have agreed to keep production in the UK. The founders are set to make £280m after an agreed take over of £534m. After the deal was announce shares increased by 160%. Mars currently employs over 140,000 people around the...
Engineering jobs - workers working in a factory
Engineering jobs in the FMCG world are certainly a great option for those that like to fix broken things or think strategically on how they can improve on a process within a manufacturing environment. As an Engineer, within either the FMCG or food industry, you have a unique opportunity to make an impact on the...
Chef jobs are exciting Chef placing food on a plate
Chef jobs in food manufacturing are exciting opportunities! Are you currently looking for Chef Jobs and what opportunities are out there? Joining the food manufacturing industry could be the opportunity you have been waiting for! There is a vast array of Chef jobs you could be interested in. A great industry to move into the...
Food inflation below 10% - lady shopping
Food inflation has finally dropped under the 10% mark for the first time in over a year! This is good news for all Food Businesses and Consumers. This significant dip is a major milestone in the journey towards sustainable economic growth and food security for the UK. Every retailer included in the Kantar report saw...
interviewing for NPD and development jobs
Are you currently interviewing for NPD jobs or Food Development Jobs? Are you on the lookout for a job that challenges, excites and motivates you? There are so many reasons to consider being part of an NPD team. But the main recurring theme with anyone we speak to is that it isn’t just a job;...

Get in touch