Students Staff

05 September 2011

Manager appointed to Edge Hotel School

Colchester Campus

Stephen Mannock

The general manager has been appointed to run the innovative new Edge Hotel School and country house hotel based at Wivenhoe House in Colchester. 

Stephen Mannock, who has more than 20-years hands-on experience as a manager in the hospitality industry, will take up the post in November. He becomes the first industry professional appointed to the historic country house hotel which is currently undergoing a £10 million refurbishment before opening in late Spring 2012.

Stephen is currently programme director for the National Skills Academy for Hospitality. For the past three years he has chaired the waiter judges in the Young Chef Young Waiter of the Year competition. He is also a judge in the Nestle Toque d’Or competition for colleges and the Academy of Food and Wine’s Restaurant Manager of the Year competition.

Stephen trained as a chef at Huddersfield Technical College and secured his first post with Rookery Hall in Cheshire as a trainee assistant manager. There he completed a two year training scheme, gaining experience in all departments of this luxury country house hotel.

He later moved to the Chester Grosvenor Hotel, where he became the food and beverage manager. He worked for Pagendam Pratt Wine Merchants and as general manager for a number of privately owned hotels. He continued his wine education through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and the Court of Master Sommeliers. In 2005 he took up a senior post with Darlington College.

Peter Church, Director of University of Essex Commercial Services, said: “Stephen brings the ideal blend of hotel management and hospitality education experience to ensure that Wivenhoe House becomes a thriving hotel of choice, providing five-star customer service.”

Stephen Mannock said: “The Edge Hotel School is an exciting new venture which will raise the bar in providing a professional education which meets the needs of the international hotel industry. Guests can look forward to an intriguingly different experience, with the flair and attention to detail you would expect from the future leaders of the industry.”

The Edge Hotel School will be the UK’s first hotel school based entirely in a fully operational hotel. A partnership between the independent education foundation Edge, the University of Essex and its academic partner Kaplan Open Learning, it will combine theory and practice for the future leaders of the hospitality industry to learn their profession. Further appointments will be made next year, including the head of the academic programmes.

The new hotel will feature period suites and rooms, a new garden wing, a signature restaurant for more formal dining, a brasserie for informal dining and meeting rooms.

Notes to Editors

1. For a photo of Stephen, or for further information, please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 872400, e-mail:

2. To find out more about Wivenhoe House Hotel, see:

3. About Kaplan Open Learning: Kaplan Open Learning (KOL) is a partnership between education and training company Kaplan and the University of Essex and offers degree courses entirely online. The hospitality courses offered through the Edge Hotel School will be KOL’s first on-site programmes. Online courses on offer include Business Studies, Financial Services and Criminal Justice. Scheduled online classes connect staff and students through both live audio and chat rooms to encourage active discussion and interactive learning in real time. The courses offer multiple start dates throughout the year with a continuous 52-week academic calendar, and allow students to study wherever they have access to the internet. The Foundation degree is awarded by the University of Essex and a third year course can be taken that leads to the award of a BA (Hons) by the University. For further information, please contact Elizabeth Hess, Director of Communications, Kaplan Europe, on 020 7645 8968, e-mail:

4. About Edge: Edge is an independent education foundation. It is dedicated to raising the status of practical and vocational learning, so that all young people have the opportunity to achieve their potential, and the UK's future workforce is equipped with the skills to be successful in the modern economy. Edge believes that 'learning by doing' is as important as academic learning, and that there are many paths to success. For more information visit, or please contact Susan Higgins, Press Officer, on 020 7960 1546, e-mail:

5. About the University of Essex: The University of Essex, founded in 1964, is one of the UK’s leading academic institutions and the most internationally diverse campus-based university in Britain. It was ranked 9th in the UK in The Times research league tables following the last national research quality assessment, and 20th in England for student satisfaction, according to the National Student Survey for 2011. The University has three campuses in Essex, and partnerships with a number of other education institutions across the region. For further information, please contact Jenny Grinter, Head of Communications on 01206 872400, e-mail:

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