CLOSING a highly-rated university restaurant would be an 'act of vandalism', according to the city council's former leader.

Oxford Brookes University bosses are set to take a decision later this month regarding Brookes Restaurant.

The Headington eaterie has a five-star rating and staff have been consulted about its potential closure over the past few weeks.

Bob Price, who stepped down as the city council's leader after a decade in February 2018, was Oxford Brookes' director of human resources between 2002 and 2013.

READ AGAIN: Petition against closure of Brookes Restaurant, Oxford

On a petition calling for the restaurant to be kept open, Mr Price wrote: "The Restaurant has been one of the shining lights of the University for many years - a genuine USP.

"It is a brilliant teaching resource as well as a great venue for public 'outreach' taking the University's skillset to the outside world. Closing the Restaurant would be an act of vandalism."

Oxford Brookes' former vice-chancellor, Sir Clive Booth, said the restaurant is 'one of the jewels in [its] crown'.

He added: "The university should keep it open by exploring imaginative ways of developing it as a business as well as a great educational asset."

Nearly 1,300 people had signed the petition, far exceeding a target of 250.