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College closes for general visitors during kitchen refurbishment project

  • 09 July 2019

Gonville & Caius College, one of the oldest Colleges and standing right in the centre of the city of Cambridge, will need to close its gates to general visitors to undergo a major kitchen refurbishment project from July 2019 for 15 months.  

The refurbishment will focus on improving the back-of-house area of the College’s kitchen in Old Courts, which was last substantially refurbished in the 1960s. The upgrade will allow the College to continue to provide exceptional dining for its community of undergraduates, graduates, academics and staff, in a modern and efficient environment.


The scope of the work

The work will increase storage, free up space elsewhere, add a staircase, extend two lifts and simplify food and furniture movements. Also included in the project is a substantial shift to electricity from gas for cooking, which will improve energy efficiency and reduce wasted heat, which hampers the current kitchen environment. Our chefs will benefit from an improved layout and much more efficient storage solutions. On upper floors, the Servery will be widened to improve the flow of people, and the mezzanine staff spaces converted to more open-plan working areas.

When the project is complete, staff and students will be offered a new range of food including sandwiches, salads and snacks from an upgraded bar preparation area.



Sustainability is key to the refurbishment. We are incorporating a state-of-the art, real-time, electrical consumption monitor to tell staff just how much power we are consuming at any one time—a form of industrial ‘Smart Meter’. We are also working on efficient cooling ducts serving fridges and freezers, and the use of heat exchange in several places, reducing the call on our boilers to heat water and helping keep condensers cool with reduced forced ventilation through fans. Electricity can be generated sustainably while gas cannot currently and creates a higher CO2 output.

The project will also improve food waste recycling in College, with the creation of a space for hygienic storage and collection of compostable waste from our kitchens. With up to 650 meals prepared a day at peak times, this is a huge step forward in waste management. 


What this means for our visitors and members

Due to the introduction of a temporary kitchen in Gonville Court, and for reasons of safety and work access, the College has to be closed to tourists during the duration of the project.

Members and others with business in the College will still be able to access the College via the Porters’ Lodge. We will also continue to welcome prospective students to visit the College by arranging an appointment with our Admissions Team

The College will still be offering an array of meeting rooms and private dining facilities, and has built Acropolis at Caius, a sophisticated marquee structure located in the beautiful Harvey Court gardens on our West Road site, to support College and external events during the project period. To enquire, please contact our Meetings and Events team.


If you would like more information about the refurbishment closure, please contact the Operations Office and they will endeavour to assist.

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