Charity venue to close to make way for café and restaurant - The Evesham Observer

Charity venue to close to make way for café and restaurant

Evesham Editorial 5th Jan, 2017   0

A MUCH-LOVED Evesham charity venue has closed its doors following a planning application to convert the site into a café and restaurant.

Robin Walker, lead volunteer at imaGine, revealed the news on Monday (January 3) and while admitting it was ‘sad news’ for the group, he expressed his hope the new venture would flourish.

Since opening in 2013, Mr Walker said imaGine had saved approximately 20 tonnes of books from landfill, and repaired more than 400 items in their Repair Café, thus significantly reducing the carbon footprint of Evesham.

“We’ve hosted countless meetings and activities for community groups, helped to promote local organisations and events, and provided a pausing place for a sit down and a good natter,” he said.

“Our enthusiastic volunteers deserve our heartfelt thanks, having given nearly 12,000 hours of their time, always providing a warm welcome to both local people and visitors to the town.

“We could not have done this without the support and goodwill from the landlords and Riverside staff, from Evesham Town Council and from Wychavon District Council for which we are immensely grateful.”

Mr Walker said the ever-popular Repair Café would relocate to a new venue in the coming weeks and expressed his heartfelt hope imaGine could yet continue in a new building.

“It would be wonderful if a similar venue providing community space at no charge could be established on a more sustainable basis sometime in the future,” he said.

“In the meantime, rest assured that our books, furniture and many other items will be distributed to local charities and good causes.

“Suggestions for new locations for the Transition and Cycle Evesham Vale displays would be much appreciate.”

An application for café/restaurant ‘Bello Lounge’ has been submitted to planning chiefs at Wychavon District Council and will be debated in the coming weeks.

“ImaGine has filled a gap in the town centre and helped to regenerate community spirit and support for our beautiful town,” said Mr Walker. “As new investment comes to Evesham we look forward to seeing the town prosper and thrive.”

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