Nottingham City Council in the UK has secured four new school catering contracts in Derby, beating competition from various private sector operators.

Last year, the council served 2.1 million nutritious meals across 55 primary and secondary schools in Nottingham city.

Under the new contracts, the council will serve meals at Beaufort Community Primary, Cherry Tree Hill Primary, Asterdale Primary and Borrow Wood Primary from April 2020.

Jo Bunting from Odyssey Collaborative Trust said: “We felt that Nottingham City Council’s emphasis on local fresh ingredients, quality meals for all with a flexibility of choice of menus to suit our children, including their Halal offer, and commitment to meet ‘Schools at Food for Life’ silver standard from the start of contract, made them the perfect partner for us to continue developing our catering service.”

As part of its five-year business plan, the council plans to set up a significant presence in the education catering sector, which is expected to be worth £5bn in 2020-21.

The council is the largest provider for schools in the city and has good relationships with various local multi-academy trusts and stand-alone schools.

Every year, the council raises about £20m from commercial operations. The extra money raised from the new venture with Derby will continue to fund local services.

Councillor Neghat Khan said: “The key to the council’s recent success is that the education catering team recognises the importance of working in partnership with each school to ensure individual needs are met and expectations are exceeded.

“Our highly experienced team are always prepared to go above and beyond, from reflecting the school’s teaching programme in the menus and providing educational enrichment through clubs to running engaging cooking classes and supporting fundraising initiatives.”