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AiP is celebrating 20 years in business this month!

Founded in June 1998, AiP is now headed by three directors, Paul Rogers, Sally Tyson and Angela Austin who undertook a management buyout from the original founders on their retirement in 2014.

Today we serve more than 75,000 meals a day at 377 schools and colleges in the Midlands, London and the South East. AiP acquired Class Catering based in the Worcester and Warwickshire area in 2014 and then Kent-based The Contract Dining Company in 2017 and now employs more than 1600 staff and has a turnover of c £32 million.

AiP Celebrates 20 years

Celebrating AiP’s 20th birthday, Paul Rogers Managing Director, pictured above with fellow directors Sally Tyson (left) and Angela Austin (right) said:

“AiP has grown considerably in the last few years through organic growth and acquisition but we have also stayed true to our ethos of supplying high quality, locally sourced and seasonal meals at quality prices.

“We have introduced distinct branding in both primary and secondary schools and we also push the boundaries with innovative food concepts such as street food to stay ahead of market trends. This means students enjoy their school meals and head teachers are assured of an inspirational and properly managed catering service. Our customer-based approach where we always strive to find a solution has been integral to our success.

“However, our 20-year anniversary wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of everyone in the AiP team – development chefs, managers, and of course the front-line staff who welcome thousands of hungry school children into their dining rooms every day with a home cooked meal and a smile.”

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AiP has secured the contract for a second cluster of schools in the Bristol area in a three-year contract worth £1.3m.
The seven primary schools in the contract will see the introduction of our Food Smart branding plus investment in new equipment as well as staff training. A new general manager is also being recruited to manage the contract and ensure that each school receives a personal service.
In line with our policy of working with schools to promote healthy eating, we will be sponsoring events at each of the schools including food tastings and staging food related extra-curricular activities.

food, AIP, Food Smart, Primary School, School, Bristol, catering, kitchen, cooking, dinners, lunch, fresh, children.

food, AIP, Food Smart, Primary School, School, Bristol, catering, kitchen, cooking, dinners, lunch, fresh, children.


AiP Library shot school lunches
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AiP Library shot school lunches

We’ve got the new year off to a healthy start with a significant new contract win for a cluster of 11 schools in Staffordshire. The contract is worth more than £2.5million over three years.

AiP will be rolling out its ‘Food Smart’ primary school branding at each of the schools, along with new Gold Food for Life menus.


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We’re delighted to have secured significant business worth more than £4 million over three years for 15 schools based in south Croydon.

A mixture of primary, secondary and one special school, the contract provides new menus and a roll out of our ‘Food Smart’ primary school branding and ‘Feed Me’ branding at the secondary schools, all specifically tailored to the needs of each school. The contracts will be mobilised in early 2018.

The contract is another successful win for AiP in London and the South East of England, as part of a planned expansion in this area, consolidated last week by the company’s acquisition of Kent-based The Contract Dining Company.

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Alliance in Partnership (AiP) has acquired a complementary business, The Contract Dining Company based in Kent, in a deal which will help it to expand its reach in the South East.

Based in Headcorn, near Maidstone, The Contract Dining Company was established in 2004 and provides catering services to 53 schools in Kent, delivering more than 8,000 meals a day.  With a 231-strong team, the business has grown to a turnover of £4m based on its ethos of only using high quality ingredients, locally sourced wherever possible, in its freshly prepared, healthy menus.  The Contract Dining Company management team, including founder Anne Winn, will remain with the company following the deal.

The company’s acquisition by AiP sees it join one of the largest education catering specialists in the UK.  Over the last 19 years, AiP has expanded from its Oldbury, West Midlands base to provide over 75,000 meals a day in primary and secondary schools and colleges nationwide.

Paul Rogers, managing director of AiP, explains: “The addition of The Contract Dining Company to the AiP family will enable us to further strengthen our presence in the South East, giving us a strong foothold in Kent following our recent contract wins in London.  There’s also a close cultural fit between the two businesses as we both share a focus on providing fresh, healthy and nutritious meals for schools.

“The combined group will now serve over 400 schools and colleges throughout the UK and will have combined sales of £33m, making us a major player in the education catering sector.”

This latest acquisition follows a multi-million-pound investment made by Leeds and London-based private equity house Key Capital Partners (KCP) in 2014 which also saw KCP partner Owen Trotter join the AiP board.  Over the last three years, KCP has played an active role in driving the company’s growth strategy.

Mr Trotter comments: “This latest development marks another key milestone in AiP’s continued expansion.  The business has already seen revenue grow by 120% since 2014 as its commitment to the provision of quality, freshly-cooked and nutritious meals for the education sector has chimed with public concerns.  As a firmly established leader in the field, the company is well-positioned to extend its offering across the UK.”

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The first week back after half term saw AiP mobilise five Bristol schools with nearly 2000 meals in a contract worth more than half a million pounds.

Previously held by Eden foodservice, AiP’s ‘Bristol cluster’ of schools consists of Colston Primary School, Christchurch C of E, Stoke Bishop C of E Primary School, Westbury on Trym Primary School and Bristol Hotwells Primary. All the schools have seen new menus, some with new salad carts and a roll out of the AiP’s primary school branding Food Smart which was specifically tailored to the needs of each school.

Sally Tyson, Key Client Director, The AiP Group of Companies said:

“We were delighted to have secured the business for these five Bristol Primary Schools. Mobilisation of all the schools on the first week back after October half term was superbly co-ordinated with the AIP team in the region, headed by Jenny Roberts, Business Director and the newly appointed dedicated manager for the cluster, Teresa Fenwick. Teresa has played a vital role throughout the mobilisation process ensuring that the schools were up and running smoothly with minimum interruption to the school day”.

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Alleynes Academy

Introducing students to different food cultures was part of the brief to AiP at new contract at Alleyne’s Academy, a thriving mixed 13-18-year-old high school in Stone Staffordshire.

As part of the new contract AiP is offering improved and varied menus at breakfast, lunch and morning break service as well as a separate 6th form offer with new food and coffee service. The school’s dining area will be expanded and a major re-branding featuring AiP’s new ‘Feed Me’ Secondary school identity will be incorporated throughout.

The contract also includes a ‘guest bar’ where live cooking demonstrations can take place. A Moroccan food day was held in early October to launch the guest bar in school.

A new Grab and Go outlet will be opened in the Academy’s forthcoming extension offering a range of sandwiches, baguettes, salad pots and fruit pots to the whole school.  The concept has been developed to ensure that students can have a healthy lunch to fit around their lunch time clubs and sporting activities.

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Feed Me

AiP has started on site this Autumn with several new contract wins.

Highlights include the brand-new Longford Park Primary Academy in Gloucester, part of the multi academy Gloucestershire Learning Alliance (GLA) and the Wyvern Federation, which encompasses four primary schools, including a centre for children with speech and language impairment and autism all based in London. All the schools in the Wyvern Federation were previously run by separate contract caterers.

At secondary level, new contract wins include the 1300 pupil Bishop Ramsey CE School in Ruislip and Hampton High, a 700-pupil strong, mixed secondary school in Hampton Surrey.  Both schools feature AiP’s new Feed Me Secondary school branding and at Bishops Ramsey, AiP is also operating a high-quality coffee offer in a snack bar outlet

Hampton High is part of the Richmond West Schools Trust, a multi academy trust that includes three other schools in the area. AiP has taken over the contract currently handled by the in-house team.

As part of the new contract at Hampton High, AiP has rationalised the current number of catering outlets within the school and re-configuring the service to deliver a more operational and cost-efficient contract.  AiP’s secondary school branding ‘Feed Me’ has been used in the main dining room and a new express grab & go outlet has been introduced.

Food Smart Branded Van
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Food Smart Branded Van

We’re delighted with our new Food Smart branded van!

AiP already has a fleet of vans used for the delivery of hot meals to primary schools but this is the first to feature our new colourful primary school branding. The van is based at St Mary’s Primary School in Bridgnorth, delivering meals to Worfield and Beckbury.

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AiP has boosted its private sector portfolio by securing the contract for London International Community School (ICS), impressing with its freshly cooked food offering and experience of meal delivery across different sites


Formerly run by a small local operator, ICS’ new French owners looked to AiP to improve catering standards to meet the expectations of the international children aged 3-18 years who attend the school and their discerning parents. A further challenge was distribution of meals across three sites when only two of the sites have kitchens as well as factoring in London traffic.  The school now has a branded meals delivery van and that all important central London parking permit!


AiP is now offering fresh, healthy and exciting menus for the main school throughout its 36-week year. This includes a light fruit-based snack for morning break and a two-choice lunch menu with a focus on nutritional content that also reflects global cuisines and flavours. AiP is also providing a mix of hot and packed lunches for the 250 students from across the world who attend the school’s successful English Language summer school.

AiP is now offering fresh, healthy and exciting menus for the main school throughout its 36-week year. This includes a light fruit-based snack for morning break and a two-choice lunch menu with a focus on nutritional content that also reflects global cuisines and flavours. AiP is also providing a mix of hot and packed lunches for the 250 students from across the world who attend the school’s successful English Language summer school.