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Heritage Portfolio and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh renew partnership

30/05/2024

Heritage Portfolio, the specialist events and catering company within Sodexo Live! based in the Scottish capital, has announced the extension of its partnership with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) for a further five years following a competitive tender. 

Since 2007, Heritage Portfolio has been a crucial part of the Garden experience, providing catering, hospitality and events services. The extension strengthens the partnership and includes the option for RBGE to extend by an additional two years.  

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As part of the renewed partnership/contract, Heritage Portfolio will invest £1 million in the venue’s facilities to ensure that visitors continue to enjoy world-class services and amenities. 

Central to Heritage Portfolio’s approach is its dedication to Scottish ingredients that complement a food and beverage offering which is inspired by the Garden. The team utilises seasonal ingredients, including 1.2 tonnes of organic certificated produce, equivalent to 23 kilogrammes a week – grown annually in the on-site Kitchen Garden. It has recently undergone expansion and investment, from the current third-of-an-acre plot, to include 18 raised beds. This investment underpins the joint food vision and is a true testament to sustainability by helping to reduce food mileage. 

In a further development, Heritage Portfolio and the Garden will collaborate to establish a hospitality hub within the John Hope Gateway. This initiative will include the delivery of educational masterclasses, blending culinary excellence with learning and community engagement. Classes will include field to fork cooking experiences, guest chef events and supper clubs, celebrating seasonal and ethically sourced produce. 

The planned redevelopment of the John Hope Gateway is set to enhance the visitor experience significantly. It will include the introduction of a barista coffee truck, key changes to the Gateway Café and in future, a new exclusive events space. The renovation will increase seating capacity, introduce a new style of service in the Cafe and see the creation of a new outdoor dining experience on the deck overlooking the stunning gardens.  

Sandy Robson, Divisional Director for Heritage Portfolio in Sodexo Live! UK & Ireland, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, which signifies our mutual dedication to providing visitors with an unparalleled experience. 

“The investment and developments highlight our commitment to not only maintaining, but elevating the standards of hospitality and service at this prestigious venue. Alongside our new food proposition, joint sustainability initiatives and community engagement plan, we’re aligned in our ambition to create a new level of experience for Garden visitors. This further solidifies our position as the partner of choice in Scotland following the recent contract retentions of V&A Dundee, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Dundas Castle, Musselburgh Racecourse and Mansfield Traquair.” 

Raoul Curtis-Machin, Director of Horticulture & Visitor Experience at RBGE said: “We look forward to working together to realise our shared vision for the guest experience at the Gardens. The transformation of space within the John Hope Gateway provides an excellent base for our work in the community and offers visitors new opportunities to enjoy our seasonal approach to dining, both inside and out.  

“As we look to the future, we look forward to further initiatives and developments that will continue to enhance the experience for our visitors from across Edinburgh and the world.” 

Heritage Portfolio’s continued partnership with RBGE is a clear indication of its commitment to the catering and events sector and will bring about a new era of culinary and service excellence at one of Edinburgh’s most revered and picturesque venues. 

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