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Pavilion in Norwich’s Waterloo Park to be turned into a cafe

PUBLISHED: 16:13 13 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:20 13 June 2017

The pavilion at Waterloo Park, Norwich.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

The pavilion at Waterloo Park, Norwich. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

The pavilion in a Norwich park is to be turned into a cafe, which will be the first time the listed building has opened its doors for more than a decade.

Davina Tanner at Café Britannia. Picture: Matt Keal / mattkealphotography Davina Tanner at Café Britannia. Picture: Matt Keal / mattkealphotography

Britannia Enterprises, which runs Cafe Britannia at Britannia Barracks and in The Guildhall, is to take on the Waterloo Park pavilion.

It is part of a partnership with Norwich City Council which will also see serving and ex-offenders working to maintain and enhance the north city park.

That will include helping with gardening, restoring the park’s iconic benches, keeping the grounds and public toilets clean.

And Britannia Enterprises will take over the repair and maintenance of the Grade II listed pavilion - opening as a full cafe serving snacks, light lunches, cakes and drinks.

The pavilion was last revamped more than 15 years ago, as part of a multi-million refurbishment of four of the city’s parks, using Heritage Lottery Fund cash.

But there remained problems with the roof of the pavilion, built between 1929 and 1933, which meant it was damaged by water - with the council facing a £250,000 bill to fix it.

Roger Ryan, city council cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “I am absolutely delighted we have managed to broker such an innovative partnership with Britannia Enterprises.

“This will help it further the important work the social enterprise does in rehabilitating offenders, which is invaluable to the individuals but also the community as a whole.

“More than that, however, it means one of much-loved parks, which play such a vital role in people’s health and well-being, can get significant time and attention invested in them and important iconic features restored to a level that otherwise the council would struggle to afford.”

Davina Tanner, OBE, chief executive of Britannia Enterprises, said: “We plan to maximise the potential of Waterloo Park as an activities and events centre for the local community and for all to enjoy.

“Part of this will be making sure the café has real community feel, a place where everyone is welcome to enjoy.”

The vintage food van which Britannia Enterprises operates already visits the park.

The new cafe is due to open later in the summer.

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