White City canteen to close in March

Fish and chips being eaten in a canteen

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The White City canteen is to close at the end of March, just before the doors shut on the White City building itself.

The BBC Club is to run refurbished cafes in the Broadcast and Media Centres. It takes over from Aramark, which has been the catering contractor in London since 2007.

The ground floor Network Central canteen is currently the largest and most popular of the catering facilities on the W12 campus, serving around two thirds of all meals sold on the site.

Its main replacement will be the ground floor cafe in the Broadcast Centre, which will close for refurbishment on December 14. It will reopen on March 1 from 6am to 10pm, seven days a week.

'We'll be significantly increasing the serving capacity of this cafe and the seating,' explains Paul Greeves, W12 programme director. 'We're also going to be increasing the kitchen facilities so that a similar range of food can be offered.'

New coffee bar

There will be also be a new coffee bar in the lounge and meeting area adjacent to the Broadcast Centre cafe - which will be called 'The Big Space' - where additional tables and chairs will be provided. It will open for business on weekdays from December 17.

The cafe on the fifth floor of the Media Centre will also be refurbished to increase its seating capacity, although it will not have to close while work is carried out.

The building will also house a preparation kitchen to support both cafes, as well as a hospitality service.

Greeves accepts that there will be fewer seats in the two cafes than in the WC canteen, but he believes they will be sufficient to meet the demands of staff at peak times. Pressure on seats will be eased by extending the hours during which hot food is served beyond the current 2pm cut-off.

And following the popularity of the trolley service at W1, a similar service will do the rounds at the Broadcast and Media Centres offering hot drinks and snacks at people's desks.

Aramark, the catering contractor that runs the White City canteen, informed its staff of the closure on Monday.

The White City coffee bar and 'Grab and Go' shop will also stop trading at the end of February.

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