Years of cut backs to the further education budget have been blamed for the shock decision to shut the acclaimed Foxholes Restaurant at Leyland’s Runshaw College.
The facility, which is a training centre for would-be chefs and catering students, has been open to the public for 31 years
.During that time it has been training ground for a bevy of chefs and hospitality students who have gone on to work at prestigious restaurants and hotels in the UK and abroad.
It has also notched up a clutch up industry awards and was the first college ever to be awarded the AA College Restaurant of the Year title.
The Langdale Road facility is consistently voted the best eating establishment in Leyland.
The college says it can no longer afford to dip into the budget keep the not-for-profit eaterie open as a restaurant but is calling on the public to support their bid to put pressure on the government for more funding for the FE sector.
In a statement issued today a college spokesman said the costs of running a college training restaurant are "extremely high, so it is with enormous sadness that we will be closing Foxholes due to nine consecutive years of government cuts to FE funding in England. "
He added : "We will of course continue to campaign for fairer funding for the FE sector and members of the public can express their support for this campaign by Tweeting, using the #LoveOurColleges hashtag."
The college paid tribute to students and customers for the "magnificent loyalty and support that they have shown to our multi-award winning training restaurant Foxholes during the last 31 years, and we also want to thank our students and staff for their exceptional skill and dedication, helping Foxholes to be consistently rated as the number one restaurant in Leyland. "
He added: " Whilst we and our customers will greatly miss our fabulous training restaurant, we are pleased to announce that we will be continuing to offer a full-time Level 2 chef training course to students aged 16-19 at our Runshaw Chef School and we will also be continuing to train apprentice chefs at a wide range of restaurants, hotels and other organisations in our local community. "