Friday, 8 March 2013

International School Meals Day

PKL KitchenPod Consultant Ian Selwood guest blogs today on the topic of International School Meals Day, and addresses the challenges faced by many schools requiring new kitchen facilities.

With International School Meals Day taking place today, we are turning our thoughts to those schools in the UK which do not have adequate facilities to be able to provide fresh, hot school meals. It’s fantastic to see such a huge buzz around International School Meals Day, and really exciting to see how many schools are taking part, but I know that there are many more schools who would perhaps like to take part but are being held back by their catering facilities (or lack thereof).

I have worked with hundreds of UK schools over the past few years, and understand the various constraints and challenges which many schools have to overcome in order to be able to produce school meals on site. Since today’s focus is on school meals, I thought it may be helpful to share some info on our KitchenPods, which have enabled over 100 schools throughout the country to produce school meals for their pupils. Here are some of the top things I think you need to know about our KitchenPods, based on the topics previous clients have asked me about:

  • Traditional brick construction is not the only option for new kitchen buildings. PKL KitchenPods are purpose-built permanent modular kitchen buildings which offer schools an innovative alternative to traditional construction. In fact, Galliford Try’s publication “The Optimum Primary School” recommended modular buildings as being preferable for school buildings!

  • KitchenPods cost far less than traditional builds, and we offer flexible procurement options including contract rental, lease hire or capital purchase. There are also various funding streams available for procuring KitchenPods, and my colleagues and I are experienced in helping schools identify funding options and assisting with filling in application forms.

  • Our KitchenPods are sturdy, high-quality facilities. They are purpose-built kitchen buildings and comply with food hygiene and health and safety standards as well as building regulations. Due to their size, I’ve found that they are also likely to be fast tracked through planning regulations as a permitted development.

  • PKL KitchenPods can be supplied as single units or larger open-plan facilities, depending on the individual requirements of each school. For schools with limited space, a single unit KitchenPod is ideal, whereas I’ve also worked with several schools to supply larger, open-plan KitchenPods. KitchenPods can be connected to existing school buildings, or can be stand-alone facilities if preferred.

  • KitchenPods are built off-site and delivered on one of our lorries all ready to put into position and connect to services. This means they can be up and running within just a few hours of delivery. Many clients have expressed concerns about disruption on site. We can arrange delivery to schools during the holidays or at weekends – problem solved!

  • Our KitchenPods are the ultimate, flexible kitchen option. Not all schools are the same, so choices include the size of the KitchenPod and the catering equipment installed inside. We also offer a huge range of external finishes. For schools wanting their KitchenPods to blend in with existing buildings, we offer various brick-slip finishes as well as painted exterior options with any colour from the RAL spectrum. For schools who would like their KitchenPod to be a real feature, we can also offer stunning wood cladding options or custom-designed vinyl wraps.

  • Although KitchenPods are permanent buildings, their modular construction enables them be relocated if the school’s needs change over time, providing a much greater degree of flexibility over traditional builds.

I hope the info is useful and helps answer some of the questions you may have about modular kitchen buildings. Please feel free to get in touch if you’d like a chat about how a PKL KitchenPod could help your school.

Finally, I wish you a fantastic day if your school is taking part in this year’s International School Meals Day - I’m sure it will be a huge success, and I know that a lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to make it all happen. With any luck, facilities like our KitchenPods will be able to help even more schools be able to take part next year, and help grow school meal uptake in the UK even more.
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