Planning application has been submitted to build a second Clink Restaurant in conjunction with HMP Cardiff. The restaurant will be built within the grounds of the prison but outside the main walls if permission is granted.
The Clink restaurant at HMP High Down opened officially in May 2009. It was the first commercial restaurant to be built inside a working British prison and remains the only restaurant of its kind in the UK.
Chris Moore, chief executive of The Clink Charity said future expansion to other restaurants was one of the aspirations for the charity.
“The aim of The Clink Charity is to reduce re-offending rates of ex-offenders by training and placing graduates upon their release into the hospitality industry. The charity therefore represents a genuine opportunity for change, offering prisoners the chance to gain food preparation, food service and cleaning qualifications as well as experience within an exciting, operational business and in-depth guidance to find full-time employment within the hospitality industry upon release,” he said.
“We currently operate the Clink Restaurant in collaboration with HMP High Down, the Prison Service and the Ministry of Justice and we have been focused on opportunities to develop the Clink concept,” he added.
Locatelli and Carluccio
The Clink Restaurant and charity was devised by the chef Alberto Crisci; Giorgio Locatelli and Italian restaurateur Antonio Carluccio are chef ambassadors.
The 90-cover restaurant is manned by 22 prisoners who develop on-the-job skills and hospitality industry experience ready for employment upon release as they serve breakfast and lunch to diners from the open-plan kitchen.
The prisoners can apply to work at the restaurant during the last six to 18 months of their sentence in order to work towards obtaining recognised City and Guilds NVQ qualifications in catering, cleaning and customer service.
If successful, the income generated from the second restaurant at Cardiff will go towards the running and operating costs which will also be supplemented by donations.