Worth £1.75 million in annual turnover, the three-year contract is due to start on 1st August when Wilson Vale will take over from the incumbents, Sodexo, at the 163 bedroom AIM accredited residential conference centre, which is part of Aston University.
As well as managing catering and hospitality services under a seven-day operation, Wilson Vale will manage 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.
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.” Samantha Brown, head of Conference Aston, said: “As a venue, we are always seeking new ways to drive innovation into our guests’ experience, and food plays a crucial role within this, often creating the lasting impression for our conference and hotel guests.
“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% 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.
Since it was established in 2002, Wilson Vale has seen an average 15 cent compounded growth rate year-on- year, showing consistency of standards and growth over its entire history to date.