Celeb Chef Hosts Dinner Kickstarting £32million Bradford College Redevelopment

Celebrity chef at Bradford College

Over 40 VIP guests attended a launch dinner at The Grove Restaurant to hear about exciting plans set to transform Bradford College.

Hosted by former MasterChef finalist Exose Grant, the event showcased several of the College’s extensive construction projects, which will soon take shape.

Projects include new £3.5m vocational T Level facilities, a £6.9m refurbishment of the derelict Garden Mills, and the construction of a new £17m Future Technologies Centre on Thornton Road.

Christopher Malish, Bradford College Vice Principal Finance & Corporate Services (left), directs questions from guests to chef Exose Grant (right).

Christopher Malish, Bradford College Vice Principal Finance & Corporate Services, opened the dinner by saying, “These projects are a huge boost for the College but also a transformative investment in Bradford that supports the wider city centre development. The new facilities will allow the delivery of curricula designed to address big societal challenges, enrich our local workforce, and showcase a range of inspiring careers.” 

VIP stakeholders attend the dinner to launch Bradford College’s ambitious estates strategy.

Guest included Lorraine O’Donnell (Bradford Council CEO) and Naz Shah (Bradford West MP), as well as representatives from Couch Perry Wilkes, JCT600, and Bond Bryan. The Sheffield-based architects opened a new academy at the College’s Trinity Green Campus earlier this year with a purpose-built T Level classroom. Bond Bryan will oversee the capital projects while guest lecturing, delivering workshops, and offering site visits and mentoring for construction and engineering students.

Representatives from Tilbury Douglas were also present – the main contractor for Bradford College’s Garden Mills refurbishment. The project will use £5.8m funding from The Office for Students Higher Education Capital Fund, alongside a £1.1m College contribution, to transform the derelict building into a state-of-the-art STEM education facility. Garden Mills will benefit higher education students studying digital, science and allied health subjects.  

Pam Sheldon, Head of Projects at Bradford College, shared plans and drawings for the schemes and said, “This is an exciting time for the College as several of our large capital projects are fully underway. We will be working very closely with our expert contractors over the coming months to ensure we optimise the social value of this work in terms of jobs and investment in the region.” 

Alongside a £1.2m college-funded refurbishment of the existing ATC building and new substation installation, these new facilities form part of the ambitious estates strategy – to nurture careers in vital sectors supporting regional economic growth.

Meanwhile, in The Grove training kitchens, Exose Grant (former Masterchef and Bake Off The Professionals finalist) treated guests to a gourmet three-course menu prepared and delivered with Level 3 Catering and Hospitality students.

Consultant chef Exose Grant works in The Grove training restaurant kitchen with Level 3 Bradford College Catering and Hospitality students.

At the age of 18, Exose started his first professional chef job at James Martin in Manchester and went on to compete in Masterchef: The Professionals 2019 at the age of just 22. Then, in early 2022 at the age of 24, Exose took over the kitchen at BLVD Manchester, creating a variety of new Pan-Asian style menus. Exose’s love for learning and competition saw him enter Bake-Off in 2019.  

The dinner was followed by a question-and-answer session with Exose as guests departed. Service throughout the evening was provided by Level 2 Catering and Hospitality students, under the watchful eyes of lecturer, Richard Barker.

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