The Clink, the charity that operates restaurants at prisons staffed by inmates to help their rehabilitation, is to open a new restaurant staffed by female offenders at a prison in Cheshire.

A disused chapel at HMP Styal is to be converted, subject to planning permission, and open to the public in spring 2015.

“Here, offenders will be employed to prepare and serve the food while working towards accreditation which is recognised in the industry,” said Justice Minister Simon Hughes, in a written statement published yesterday.

In addition, the Clink and HMP Send, a women’s prison in Surrey, is developing a horticultural training project where the female prisoners will grow speciality vegetables and salad to be used within existing Clink restaurants at HMP High Down in Surrey and HMP Brixton in south London.

Starting in May 2014, the project will employ 20 women who will be trained to gain their NVQ City and Guilds qualifications in horticulture, said Hughes.