Ampersand has won the contract to look after visitor catering, conference and events services at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, in a deal worth £16m over the next seven years.
An Ampersand team of more than 20 people will provide a range of services to The Old Royal Naval College (ONRC), including 400-seat Trafalgar Night Dinner held annually in the room where Admiral Nelson's body laid in state before burial.
The Old Royal Naval College, designed by Christopher Wren, and built more than three centuries ago, is the UK's 11th most-visited attraction with 1.6 million visitors per year.
Event bookings will be managed jointly: by both an onsite team and by Ampersand's sister company ITA. Together they will promote the venue's numerous spaces, including the Painted Hall - described as "the finest dining hall in Europe" - The Queen Mary Undercroft, the King William Undercroft, and Admiral's House.
The ORNC even has its own 19th century Skittle Alley, built for use by pensioner seamen once based here. The Painted Hall will undergo conservation and Admiral's House will be redeveloped to better suit intimate weddings and corporate entertaining.
Ampersand will offer an extensive array of services for these venues including: day delegate packages; bespoke events catering; formal and informal gatherings; grand gala dinners; weddings; outdoor catering: tours of the site with Yeomen Guides; and even games of skittles. Inside it can accommodate groups from 10 to 400, and outside, several thousands.
Karine Lepeuple, commercial director at ORNC said: "This is a perfect time to refresh our events and catering services. The Olympics really gave Greenwich a lift and the area is set to join New York, Hawaii and the Caribbean as a cruise ship destination now that plans for a new dock have been approved. We chose Ampersand based on three criteria: the strength of its proactive sales and marketing resource; its ability to deliver a mix of high quality visitor catering plus high-profile events; and thirdly the team's enthusiasm to support our vision for the future of this iconic world heritage site."
Ampersand managing director Paul Jackson, said: "To tread in Nelson's footsteps is indeed daunting. The ORNC symbolises the era when Britannia ruled the waves and the architectural splendour around us represents the best of British. We will help the ORNC and Greenwich Foundation achieve its plans for the future and in doing so we aim to exceed its expectations every day in the food, events and services that we supply. In Nelson's spirit we promise that Ampersand expects that every man and woman will do their duty!"