The Old Royal Naval College (ORNC), Greenwich – one of the most beautiful, historic and iconic venues on the River Thames – has chosen Ampersand to look after visitor catering, conference and events services in a deal worth £16 million over the next seven years.

An Ampersand team of over 20 people will provide a vast range of services to ORNC, with events ranging from: visitor catering; to business meetings for groups of 10; up to the epic 400 seat Trafalgar Night Dinner held annually in the room where Admiral Nelson’s body laid in state before burial.

Architectural masterpiece attracting 1.6 million visitors

This architectural wonder is widely regarded as a masterpiece – it is described by UNESCO as the “finest and most dramatically-sited architectural and landscape ensemble in the British Isles”. Designed by Christopher Wren, and built more than three centuries’ ago, it is the UK’s 11th most-visited attraction with 1.6 m visitors and has provided the backdrop for countless movies including recent blockbusters Les Misérables, Skyfall and The King’s Speech, and the soon to be released Muppets Most Wanted.

Event bookings

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.

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.

Cruise ship destination

Karine Lepeuple, Commercial Director at ORNC commented: “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.”

About Ampersand

Ampersand is owned by CH&Co and offers catering services for iconic British establishments including Hampton Court Palace, ZSL London Zoo, The Guildhall, The Tower of London, The Law Society, Kensington Palace, and The Royal Institute of British Architects. CH&Co is a leading independent catering group with six specialist businesses: Charlton House (staff catering at B&I sites), Lusso (City and fine dining), Chester Boyd (livery halls and private venues), It’s the Agency (venues and events booking agency), Ampersand (public and event catering at iconic & private venues) and Via 360 (bespoke reception services). Current annual turnover stands at £97 million and the group employs almost 2,500 people nationwide.

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