East End Foods has pledged to continue the ‘legacy of food’ at its Aston site with a new academy designed to reignite young people’s interest in the industry.

Under the plans, the proposed Foods Academy would equip 16 to 19-year-olds with the skills to work in the sector by offering vocational courses in retailing, hospitality, food production and enterprise, or A-Levels in Applied Business Studies, Applied Information and Communications Technology, Economics and Food Technology.

The proposal has been submitted to the Department of Education and, if approved, would see courses begin in September 2014.

East End Foods, which developed the plans with University College Birmingham and Harper Adams University College, said a conference and banqueting suite, a four-star hotel and the first Urban Farm and Food Research and Technology Centre in Birmingham had also been proposed for the Aston Cross location.

Paul Deep, sales director at East End Foods, told The Grocer the legacy of food “must continue” at its Aston site, which formerly belonged to HP Sauce for more than 100 years.

East End Foods director Tony Deep Wouhra added: “Through the Academy the 16 to 19-year-old pupils will receive education and practical experience in retailing industry and become entrepreneurs. They will be ready to work in retailing or be ready to take over their parents’ businesses, which are not being run professionally.”