The first working hotel to be run and staffed by students - the Edge Hotel School - is to open in Essex, in spring 2012.
Being developed within a grade II listed building, Wivenhoe House, at a cost of £10m, the school will provide practical and vocational learning for students whilst also functioning as a commercially sustainable four star hotel.
It is to be run as a partnership between the principal funder, the Edge Foundation, an educational charity dedicated to raising the stature of practical and vocational learning, and the University of Essex.
The unique concept will provide high levels of training and education to degree level in a world class facility, with training becoming fully integrated with day-to-day hospitality.
Sir Garry Hawkes, president of the Edge Foundation said that the hotel school is one of the most exciting developments in hospitality education for well over a generation. "To be able to operate a fully functioning hotel with real members of the public staying, as well as providing both quality practical and vocational learning for the next generation of hospitality students is a great move forward for the industry."
More than 200 hospitality dignitaries attended the launch of the project at the Ritz Hotel, London.
By Janet Harmer
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