Home Community and neighbourhoods Are you interested in running Halewood Park’s new community café?
building at Halewood park

Are you interested in running Halewood Park’s new community café?

by Cathy Sheel

Knowsley Council is asking those interested in running the community café at Halewood Park to register their interest in operating the new venue.

The Council is looking for groups or organisations to register an Expressions of Interest to operate the community café which has been created at the recently refurbished annex building near to the Halewood Park Environment Centre on Okell Drive. It is hoped the café will be open from September 2023.

The new operator would lease the café building for an initial five-year period, with an opportunity to extend for a further two years. There will be an Open Day for prospective operators to view the site and find out more on Thursday, 1 June, 9.30am – 3.30pm. Please ring 0151 443 3682 or email ess.enquiries@knowsley.gov.uk if you wish to attend.

The café is the latest attraction to arrive at Halewood Park which already has a playground, green gym as well as wildflower, wetland and woodland habitats, accessible footpath and cycle routes.

Maintained by the Council and Halewood Conservation Volunteers, the park is home to a number of groups and organisations running activities, including chair yoga, low-intensity fitness for mothers (Mamafit) and an evening running club (Halewood Harriers).  Cycling for all and accessible cycling is provided by Wheels for All.  Publicly accessible toilets and car parking are available for park and café users.

It is expected that the café operators would engage with existing and new community groups and offer or support events at the cafe and/or the Environment Centre.

Those registering and Expression of Interest would be expected to have:

•             experience of running a catering outlet,

•             current business has a food hygiene rating of 5,

•             experience in food preparation, food hygiene, food and drink knowledge and risk assessments,

•             experience of managing staff – with local staff employed and work placements with local  schools,

•             experience in training staff – such as barista training, food preparation, health and safety,

•             experience in organising large-scale events,

•             in-house team and budget for marketing and social media platforms,

•             experience of creating a community hub, preferably within a park setting,

•             a range of coffees and teas and light snacks/deli style food,

•             use of sustainable packaging, moving to compostable products,

•             reasonable residual bank balance (net of expenditure) – Evidence of bank balances to be provided at tender stage.

Prospective operators meeting these requirements are asked to complete the form which can be found on The Chest website by the closing date of 15 June 2023.  Suitable applicants will then be invited to submit a formal tender.

Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, Cllr Shelley Powell said: “We know that community cafés are extremely popular in our other parks across the Borough and there is demand to have a similar offer in Halewood. We have been working hard to enhance the community offer in Halewood and a key priority has been to increase usage of the Environment Centre at Halewood Park.

“Our investment of £200,000 in the annex building has enabled a community café to be available for the whole community to enjoy. Improving our local parks and green spaces is a key priority for the Council and I’m delighted that we are now able to invite prospective operators to get involved and  look forward to working with them in the future.”