Cafe dream for disused Priory Gardens building in Gorleston

Vicki Mileham wants to launch a social enterprise from an empty building in the corner of Priory Gar

Vicki Mileham wants to launch a social enterprise from an empty building in the corner of Priory Gardens in Gorleston.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A disused coachman's lodge could soon enjoy a new lease of life as a community cafe.

Priory Gardens in Gorleston. Picture: James Bass

Priory Gardens in Gorleston. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

The building in Priory Gardens, off Church Road, Gorleston, has moss on its roof and its windows are boarded up.

Vicki Mileham wants to launch a social enterprise from an empty building in the corner of Priory Gar

Vicki Mileham wants to launch a social enterprise from an empty building in the corner of Priory Gardens in Gorleston.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

It originally formed part of the estate of the Priory - which has since been demolished - together with a coach-house, stabling, laundry and greenhouses.

But mother-of-two Vicki Mileham has a vision to breathe new life into it.

Mrs Mileham, of Grosvenor Mews, said: 'I've always aspired to run a tea shop and this summer I thought I might as well use the skills I've acquired over the years.


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'I've invested as much as I can afford to as I truly believe in this idea.

'I want it to be a community project to inspire young people in our community in some way or other.'

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The 46-year-old worked as a teaching assistant at Cliff Park Junior School for nine years, and also has experience running courses for the unemployed.

She said she would put this experience to good use by offering work experience placements for young people with special needs who are interested in a catering career.

She would also host reading cafes for parents, and host recycle parties for children - where youngsters get messy making things out of recycled materials, with glue and paint.

Mrs Mileham's home overlooks the park, and the cafe has been a long-held ambition.

'I want to see the park used more by the community,' she revealed. 'I want to bring something Britsh, typically English and traditional.'

There would be a waitress service and black and white uniforms.

Her project has a working name of Love Flo's with 2nd Hand Rose, chosen as both of her grandmothers have the name Florence.

She has already approached the principal of Great Yarmouth College and the leader of the borough council for support.

The coachman's lodge is currently council-owned, as it was bequeathed to the town by chemist Philip Hill, who had lived at the Priory.

It was built around 1800.

Mrs Mileham is being supported by her family, including husband Steve who works at British Sugar in Cantley.

And she hopes people from the community will get involved to help make the project a success.

She aims to open the cafe by easter 2014 if all goes to plan.

Mrs Mileham is hosting a tea party event at Ruche Shoes in Gorleston High Street from 2pm on Sunday.

People are invited to pop in to chat about her plans.

For details or to get involved, email vickimileham@gmail.com

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