Keynsham Memorial Park cafe 'on track' to reopen for summer

Published on: 04 Jun 2016

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Plans to reopen the café in Keynsham Memorial Park for the summer remain “on track”, Bath and North East Somerset Council has said.

The authority issued a statement saying a number of offers were on the table after an email sent by its own commercial property department seemed to suggest no applications to run the popular venue had been made just two days before the deadline.

The reminder led to a number of formal offers being made, a spokesperson said. “Bath & North East Somerset Council is committed to maintaining a quality café outlet in Keynsham Memorial Park and is currently seeking experienced operators to provide the new catering facility.

“Earlier this week [on May 23] the council issued a reminder to parties who had previously registered an interest that the deadline to return formal offers is 5pm on 25 May 2016.

“Following this reminder, a number of formal offers have been submitted.

“The council will now consider these offers and remains on track to appoint the operator as soon as possible in the coming weeks to enable the successful operator to open during the popular summer months.”

The council has also promised to ensure that Keynsham Music Festival organisers will have access to water and power supplies, even if the reopening of the café is delayed until after the event. Under an agreement with the previous leaseholders, the water supplies for the festival were accessed via the café. With its closure, organisers told Keynshamvoice they feared there would have to be “significant changes” to the festival.

But the council spokesperson said: “In the event that the new operator cannot open the café in time for the Keynsham Music Festival, the council will ensure that the festival organisers have access to power and water supplies. Chairs will also be provided for the evening events during the week as in previous years. The council will also work with the festival organisers to ensure that catering facilities
are available throughout the event.”

Many park users have been commenting online about the loss of the café and a petition calling on B&NES to reopen it as soon as possible has attracted more than 100 supporters.

Among them, Graham Shaw comments: “This is an important local facility, and a happy place for parents, children, dog-walkers and others who use the wonderful space that is our local park to meet and chat. Please do all you can to enable it to reopen!”

And Linda Smith writes: “Been a big loss to the park since closing its doors. [We] need it back asap!”

The petition can be found at www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/takeaction/885/592/482/

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