Popular community centre café closes
- Credit: Long Ashton Community Centre
A café at the heart of a village community has shut this month.
The Long Ashton Community Centre café, in Keedwell Hill, closed on June 8 after the charity which manages the centre confirmed it is not financially viable to run the facility under its current model.
Following the café’s closure, residents said the loss of the service would be a ‘disaster’ for Long Ashton, adding that the café is an ‘integral' part of the village market, with others calling for ways to reverse the decision.
A spokesman for Long Ashton Community Association charity (LACA), which manages and maintains the community centre, wants to address concerns and be ‘extremely clear’ that they are not shutting the centre in Keedwell Hill.
They said the news that the café had made a profit year-on-year is incorrect, and that the facility was running at a loss after factoring in overheads including maintenance, utilities, cleaning and admin. They also said the café was no longer run by volunteers and confirmed that in one year, around half of the centre's staff wages went towards the running of the café.
The charity concluded that once the true costs were analysed, the facility proved to be ‘a drain on LACA’s resources’ and ‘unsustainable’ to run in the previous way.
The spokesman added: “We realise that the café was a meeting place for many people, young and old, and we fully support what people are saying, and any future plans will have these users in mind.
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“Please be assured that we are working closely with Long Ashton Parish Council to ensure that we utilise this community space to the benefit of all in the village. We now must look to the future, and for the new community space to work, we will need the full support of the village.
“The recent announcement has shown us that LACA does have a lot of support and that people feel passionate about having a community space that is accessible to all. With that, we are asking people to volunteer to help us run the new community space.
“We will update you all as soon as we can with more exciting information on our plans.”
To check for updates, log-on to www.longashtoncommunitycentre.org/