Hundreds more meals are on the menu for school children in the Lincoln area after a £410,000 school kitchen overhaul.
The North Kesteven School kitchen, dining hall and delivery provision revamp was made possible by a £350,000 government boost, and was completed on November 14.
To mark the launch of the improved facility, school staff, students, board members and local organisations were treated to an in-house food and drink reception, speeches by key organisers and musical performances by students.
The 15-week project, delivered by construction company Robert Woodhead Ltd, saw the school kitchen remodelled and extended and a colourful makeover given to the dining area.
Work started on July 21, though the kitchen continued to deliver a consistent service throughout.
The school says the work is a response to additional demand for primary school meals.
The kitchen has gone from making 400 healthy and varied meals every day to a number of local primary schools to allowing provisions for an extra 360.
A number of new primary schools have placed their interest in benefiting from the service.
North Kesteven School headteacher, Martin Connor, said: “The whole idea behind the project was to expand our provision for the schools. We already have a number of primary schools on the waiting list to benefit from the scheme.
“The students here have been fabulous in the sense that they have had to put up with building sites since September and even queue up in the rain at times.
“From day one we’ve not had to close the kitchen. We provided a limited service for the first few days of term and then it grew to a normal service, despite ladders and cables and various obstacles.
“We had £350,000 from what’s called the government’s Education Funding Agency which is given to schools to improve the facilities and conditions. We committed funding ourselves and have been interested in the idea for a while.
“It was given impetus by the Nick Clegg announcement that very child aged five to seven in English state schools will be eligible for a free meal.
Catering Manager at the school, Maria Grice, added: “The investment has increased our workload and we also increased the team by two. After Christmas we will be able to supply more schools in the local area will fresh school meals.
“At the moment we’re preparing 600 meals a day as well as our own school. The launch really is cause for celebration.”