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Date: 16/05/2018

WCG has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its project to create a Hotel Training School based at Moreton Morrell College, it was announced today.

Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to bring Moreton Hall, a much loved regional landmark,  back to life following a devastating fire in 2008 and make it a centre of excellence for Hospitality and Tourism training.
The Moreton Hall Hotel Training School is an important development in the region and has been designed to supply the region’s significant visitor economy with the skilled workforce it very much needs. The Hotel Training School is a strategic move by WCG to develop skills training in an area not currently offered by the WCG Colleges due to industry demands for a skilled workforce and the strong career opportunities this industry presents. WCG will be launching new hospitality and tourism courses at its Royal Leamington Spa College and Evesham College, in addition to creating the Moreton Hall Hotel Training School at Moreton Morrell College.
The HLF have agreed £582,000 up front to support the development of the project, with the prospect of a further £3.5m to make it a reality.  With the support of HLF, plus private donations and the college group’s own investment, the Hall now has a substantial amount of the £8.5m needed to invest in the creation of the Moreton Hall Hotel Training School.  WCG will be seeking some additional financial or in-kind support from industry partners, stakeholders, benefactors, alumni and the local community as the project develops.
As well as the education and training focus, the refurbishment will include a museum celebrating the history of Moreton Hall and its international connections; and the building will once again be available as a venue for weddings, conferences and as a restaurant.  The Hotel itself will be designed as a high quality boutique hotel, providing students with a commercial hotel setting in which to develop their skills and to ensure they are work-ready for the many jobs, from chef to hotel manager, tour guide to events manager, available in this industry.
Built in 1906, Moreton Hall (Grade II listed building) and its gardens, including the famous Wellingtonia tree-lined driveway, has always been much admired and even visited by royalty.  In the 1940s, the 750 acre estate became an agricultural college designed to meet the needs of the rural economy. One of the seven colleges managed by WCG, Moreton Morrell has maintained its roots in providing land based training, offering courses from entry level to degree; and in more recent years has diversified its offer into sport. The Hotel Training School will introduce further diversification into this already thriving college.
Angela Joyce, Group Principal and Chief Executive of WCG, commented “We are delighted to have gained support from the Heritage Lottery Fund which enables our vision to restore this iconic landmark while creating a much needed high quality training venue to become a reality. Moreton Hall means so much to so many people and I have been keen to create a sustainable purpose for the Hall since I joined WCG.
“Our vision of creating a Hotel Training School directly supports the needs and ambitions of the regional economy to boost tourism and to create the next generation of skilled employees, which will be so vital in the years following Brexit.  
“I have been delighted by the amount of support we have already received and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with industry stakeholders and hospitality sector bodies to now make this vision a reality. The Moreton Hall Hotel Training School will be a unique development for the Midlands and will showcase the careers available in the hospitality and tourism industry.”
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