Hopes for a summer reopening of popular park café

Café Park Britannia at Waterloo Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Café Park Britannia at Norwich's Waterloo Park, pictured in 2017. - Credit: Denise Bradley

A popular park café which closed suddenly could reopen this summer.

The Waterloo Park café in Norwich, formerly known as Café Park Britannia, shut its doors early last year.

But there are hopes the business unit in the Grade II listed pavilion, owned by Norwich City Council, will be ready for a new tenant from this July or August, according to Margaret Bevan, a volunteer from Friends of Waterloo Park group.

Ms Bevan said: "We know it has gone out to tender. There are several applicants being considered by Norwich City Council and hopefully they will be in place by the end of July or August.

"We get a lot of inquiries on our Facebook page asking if we know when the cafe will open. People visited the park to visit the café.

"It would be great to have it open again. It is very much needed. We, as a group, work hard to make the park part of the community."

She added the café , previously run by Britannia Enterprises, was a community hub and was popular with parents of young children, friends having a catch up and dog walkers.

The potential of new owners comes as an online survey regarding what people wanted from a new business which has been shared on various community Facebook pages.

Britannia Enterprises, which also ran Café Britannia on Britannia Road and Guildhall Britannia and Britannia Gardens on Heigham Street, went into liquidation in August 2019.

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The project mentored and trained prisoners from HMP Norwich.

Café Park Britannia was temporarily saved following a deal between bosses and the city council to keep the café open until new tenants were found.

In this year's budget, Norwich city councillors approved a sum of £36,000 being set aside to invest in the refurbishment of the former café site.

A city council spokesperson said: "Seven interested parties completed the pre-tender questionnaire and these were then judged by representatives of the friends group, NPS and the parks team at Norwich City Council. Of these, four have been chosen to be suitable for tender stage. The closing date for tender is July 1 and we are hoping to award the tender later that month."

They added the lease would last for five years.


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