Local charity, Bath City Farm, has secured £500,000 funding to build a new indoor and outdoor community café at the farm. The community café has been a long-held ambition since the farm opened in 1995 and construction will begin in September with opening planned for late Spring.
Located next to the popular play area with views across beautiful Georgian Bath, there will be indoor year-round seating for 30-40 people, with two outdoor terraces. The community café will be a great place for local people to meet up and enjoy produce grown and reared on the farm by the Farm’s volunteers.
Run as a community business, all the profits from the café will be reinvested in the farm. This will include supporting the farm’s volunteer programmes and helping to provide funding to feed the animals. It will also provide important work experience opportunities for the farm’s volunteers in catering and hospitality, developing real world skills.
Funds have been secured over the last three years from several different sources including a grant from the Bath-based St John’s Foundation, which paid for architects to be appointed to design the café, as well as from the Bath and North East Somerset Community Infrastructure Levy fund, the Power to Change Community Business Fund and Enovert.
Chair of Bath City Farm Trustees, Jo Southwell, said, “The Trustees and the team are so pleased that, despite recent delays due to Covid, we have now secured all the funding and we will be achieving our long-standing aim of getting construction of our new, indoor and outdoor café underway. Work will start in September and we expect to open the café around late Spring next year. We plan to make it a great place for visitors to the farm, a resource for our local communities and an opportunity to show how local food can be produced and cooked.”
The café is designed by local architects Hetreed Ross Associates and will have a timber frame and wooden cladding on three sides. Generous windows will make sure the café is light and bright year-round. The café will be built by builders Ken Biggs Contractors Ltd and will provide several new job opportunities for our local communities, as well as work experience opportunities for some of our volunteers.
“Ken Biggs contractors are thrilled to be appointed as the contractor to build the new café building which will be an asset to the farm and the general community,” said Clive Willcox, General Manager. “It continues our involvement with the farm which started when the site was purchased and we carried out the initial earth works and formed the car parks back in 1995.”