Page last updated at 20:49 GMT, Monday, 23 February 2009

Oliver restaurant plans shelved

Jamie Oliver
The charity said it may revisit its plans in the future

TV chef Jamie Oliver's charity has shelved plans to open a fifth branch of his restaurant chain Fifteen.

The Fifteen Foundation had planned to open a restaurant at Holbeck Urban Village in Leeds in June.

The charity said it had decided not to proceed, "largely as a result of the current economic conditions".

Fifteen gives disadvantaged young people the chance to build a career in the industry at its branches in London, Cornwall, Amsterdam and Melbourne.

The charity said it had taken into account "the difficulties faced by many charities with fundraising" in reaching its decision.

Chief executive Penny Newman said: "The decision not to expand comes down to a combination of factors but no-one will be surprised to hear that the current economic climate has played a major part in the matter.

"We had to make a decision about whether to concentrate our efforts on our existing businesses or whether to divert some of that to a new venture.

"We think it is prudent to focus on our existing restaurants for the time being.

"We would like to thank all our partners in Leeds for all their support and enthusiasm for the project and we do hope to revisit our plans for growth when the economic picture looks more positive."

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