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CaptureA leading catering design and installation firm is bolstering its reputation as a specialist within the education sector after completing its latest project for one of the UK’s leading universities.

South Tyneside-based Restaurant Design Associates (RDA) has worked with Durham University, PHP Architects and Brims Construction to design and install a new catering space within Collingwood College – which was founded in 1972 and accommodates more than 500 students.

PHP Architects appointed RDA to undertake the design and catering consultancy for the Collingwood College project. Following the consultancy stage, RDA then successfully bid for the installation work from Brims Construction, who tasked RDA with fitting out the new facilities.

The RDA team delivered and installed all catering equipment including Proline servery counters, Hobart dishwasher, Foster coldrooms and refrigeration, and Halton ventilation canopy and services distribution unit, which were fitted across the ground floor kitchen, basement storage and preparation areas. The cooking suite consisted of Hobart, Falcon, Rosinox, Frymaster and Rational equipment.

The work marks the latest in a line of key projects dating back to 2011 that RDA has undertaken with Durham University as design consultants.

RDA has since designed new catering facilities at St Mary’s College, which was established in 1899, Trevelyan College, founded in 1966, St Aidan’s College, which dates back to 1947, and the second oldest college on the estate – Hatfield College – a Grade II listed building which was founded in 1846.

In addition to the residential college projects, RDA’s further past work with Durham University includes the design of a catering area within Durham Business School, the design and installation of a new café at the Oriental Museum, and the revamp of a café within Palace Green’s library courtyard.

RDA’s design director Paul Hirst said: “At RDA, we have an in-depth understanding of catering operations within a university environment, and we’re very proud of our ongoing relationship with PHP Architects and Durham University. Our close association with both groups has resulted in developing a design that works extremely well for the members of Collingwood College and fully satisfies the brief.

“The biggest challenge facing our design team was to create a larger food production facility and a larger servery area within an existing space, to a tight timescale. Collingwood College has seen a significant increase in the student population since it was originally built and had outgrown its catering capabilities.

“Additionally, the servery was dated and unfit for a forward thinking catering team. By carefully examining areas that were potentially wasted space, we were able to increase the amount of equipment, preparation areas and storage areas in order to accommodate the current demand.

“The highly professional Durham team assisted us in creating a very specific brief, bringing in a number of specialists from food production to food service to develop the concept.”

RDA has worked with a range of universities including Northumbria University, Leeds Beckett University and Coventry University – and the team are preparing to coordinate a series of further projects within the education sector throughout 2016.

The firm is also furthering opportunities with independent schools across the UK and has been announced as Official Headline Sponsor of the ISBA (Independent Schools’ Bursars Association) Annual Conference 2016.

For further information about RDA, visit www.rdalimited.co.uk

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