Work to start to 'breathe new life' into vacant park café

The cafe building at Waterloo Park, pictured when it was Cafe Park Britannia. Picture: DENISE BRADLE

The cafe building at Waterloo Park, pictured when it was Cafe Park Britannia. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Work is under way to restore a city park café which has been vacant for months after funds were set aside for the project. 

The Waterloo Park café has been empty since early 2020 after what was described as an administrative issue saw it close.

At the time, the cafe's manager Simon Stokes confirmed the council was providing support and talks were ongoing, but the café has remained shut since then.

Maintenance work is taking place to "breathe new life" into the former Waterloo Park Café site for a new tenant to take it on

Maintenance work is taking place to "breathe new life" into the former Waterloo Park Café site for a new tenant to take it on - Credit: Archant

But the coming weeks will see maintenance work take place to ensure the building is in an appropriate condition for new tenants to take it on.

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, which was previously known as Park Britannia.

A spokeswoman for the city council said the café was identified as a "key building in a lovely setting". 

She added: "The focus of this money will be spent on the light fittings and fire alarm system.

"Over the coming weeks, alongside other work to keep up the maintenance of, and invest and improve, our parks and open spaces, the team will be scoping out and ordering the works needed to return the café up to its top standard, so a new tenant can breathe life back into it and the doors can once again be opened for the community to enjoy.”

The future of the café was surrounded in uncertainty ever since previous owners Britannia Enterprises went into liquidation in August 2019.

It had been temporarily saved following a deal between bosses and the city council to keep the café open until new tenants were found, but it ultimately had to close its doors.

With families flocking to the park this week as the sun shone, combined with Covid restrictions being eased, the council will hope a tenant can take on the building once the refurbishment work is completed.

Most Read

It comes as the Eaton Park Café saw high levels of footfall this week with customers seen queuing outside on Thursday morning.

The queue for the Eaton Park Café on Thursday, April 1

The queue for the Eaton Park Café on Thursday, April 1 - Credit: Archant

A member of staff said the café has been open seven days a week, and he added that trade has "been going well". 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter