25 September 2014

Café awarded five star rating after planning battle

New café at our Bold Business Centre in St Helens is celebrating after being awarded a five star hygiene rating, following a hard-fought battle for planning permission.

Algrante’s Coffee Shop Café opened in June after four months of struggling to gain planning approval from the council.

Business owner, Jenny Tabern, 62, had wanted to open a café for a long time.  But at one point it looked as though her business dream was not going to come true, after planning permission was denied.

With the help of our St Helens Business Centre Manager, Shelley O’Reilly, and the local chamber of commerce, they presented a case that could not be refused.

Making a case

Jenny first approached Shelley about opening the café in November 2013 and the pair set about applying for a change of use for the empty unit.

Shelley explains: “Jenny and I had a meeting with the council, who informed us that due to planning laws we were not able to have a café at Bold Business Centre.  I argued the point with them that there had once been a coffee shop on the site.

“When I returned to the centre we scoured the archives and found drawings, paperwork and invoices for the previous cafe.  I got all the relevant documents together and sent them off to the council, but they were still insistent that they would not grant us planning permission.

“This started a long, hard battle to overturn the planning application.  Jenny and I have worked tirelessly with the chamber of commerce and members of St Helens Council and on the 25th April 2014 we were delighted to be granted full planning permission. It just proves you should never give up!”

Hub of the community

Jenny was delighted to finally open the doors of the café in June and other businesses on the site are equally as pleased.

“The café has helped the businesses at the centre to get to know each other better,” Jenny says.

“People can enjoy a variety of hot and cold food on-site, whether it is grabbing a bite to take back to the office, meeting a client over lunch or ordering food to take to one of the meeting rooms for an event.

“I have always been a ‘people person’ and with the café I get to meet new people every day.  It’s fantastic!”

Jenny chose the location at Bold Business Centre because it is a busy site and she thought that the café would be a useful facility for the businesses based there.  She says she is delighted at the help she received from Shelley.

“Shelley is brilliant.  She is really easy to talk to and is always ready to help if she can.  I am really pleased to be a part of the community in the centre,” she says.

To top off the success of Algrante’s Coffee Shop Café, the eatery has just been awarded a five star health and hygiene rating in a surprise inspection from the local authority.

Five star business facilities

Our Bold Business Centre has a variety of business space for rent, including workshop space, office space, industrial units, studios and storage units, as well as offering meeting rooms for hire.

Previously the headquarters of a coal mining company, the business centre has been restored and converted into a thriving work environment, retaining many original features to give a nod to its heritage.

For more information contact Business Centre Manager, Shelley O’Reilley, on 01925 220 484 or email [email protected] .