Launch date target for Waterloo Park café revealed
- Credit: Norwich City Council
The new tenants of a city park café which has been vacant for more than a year hope to be up and running by early September.
The Feed, a not-for-profit social enterprise and charity aiming to prevent poverty, hunger and homelessness in Norwich, will take on the café at Waterloo Park.
Extensive work is required to clear out the building from the previous tenants, so the café will not be ready for the summer holidays.
Gemma Harvey, operations manager for The Feed, said: "We only got told on Tuesday and we have not signed the leases or received the keys yet, so we want to launch properly with a big clean out.
"Obviously we would have wanted to be ready for the summer holidays but it is important we get it right from the start, so we are looking at early September."
Work will include ensuring the kitchen is "more workable", as well as sorting out the upstairs space as a room to hire for non-commercial community groups such as for yoga, art or a reading room.
The upstairs room will be renamed Sandys-Winsch after Captain Arnold Edward Sandys-Winsch who was parks superintendent in Norwich for 34 years from 1919.
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He also created the building in Waterloo Park in 1932, and was deemed in line with The Feed's ethos given he oversaw the unemployment labour programme to help vulnerable people get into work.
Miss Harvey said the response to the announcement of the deal has been "fantastic" with many enquiring about whether the café will be dog-friendly and what the upstairs room will be used for.
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The café will welcome four-legged friends with a treat jar similar to the venue on Prince of Wales Road.
Formerly known as Café Park Britannia, situated in a Grade II listed pavilion owned by Norwich City Council, the building closed suddenly last year.
Miss Harvey said: "People have really missed having that hub. The park is beautiful there are other parks in Norwich which really benefit from having a space for a nice cuppa and a bite to eat."
The Feed will be advertising for a café manager from next week before ensuing positions through its social media channels.