New community café on its way to Murdishaw

Work has started to convert an old boxing gym into a new community café in Murdishaw.

The Tea Tree Café will be located within the Gorsewood, a stone’s throw away from the local Murdishaw Coop, and will be run by a new social enterprise, ‘The Gorsewood Green CiC’, a group of local residents inspired to deliver long-lasting improvements to their community.

The community-led project has been closely supported by local housing associations Onward Homes and Riverside Housing and Halton Borough Council, who have worked in partnership with the Gorsewood Green CiC to evolve a vision that reflects their aspirations for the area.

The café will act as a central hub in the community and a place for people to gather and enjoy freshly made food and drinks at low prices. Other plans for the area include creating a market square that could support pop-up shops, makers markets and food events, and improvements to the green spaces around the cafe, creating new areas for residents to enjoy.

Over the summer, Onward and its contractors Brown & Bancroft and Equans will be starting work on the café, and it is expected that the doors will open later this year. The team will be hosting a series of pop-up lunches and events over Autumn whilst getting use to the space, before establishing a regular pattern of opening hours.

Linda Geddes, Chair of the Gorsewood Green CiC, said:

“From the feedback we received, it was clear that local people wanted somewhere to meet informally as a community, somewhere to learn and share skills and participate in activities at different times of the day.

“The Tea Tree Café will be a new place for local people to socialise and enjoy a range of activities. We will also be working and coordinating with the existing community centre on a range of training, learning and skills opportunities.

“The CiC has secured funding from Riverside Foundation and Onward to make the café a reality. We are very grateful for their support, and that of Halton Council and other local partners, to ensure that this project gets off the ground.

We are excited to get stuck in and put our stamp on the café in the months to come.”

Bronwen Rapley, Chief Executive of Onward Homes said:

It was important to us that residents took the lead in any plans for Murdishaw. Working with the Gorsewood Green CiC and our partners, local voices have been at the heart of this project from the start and this space has been designed to reflect residents’ experiences, knowledge, and aspirations.

The Tea Tree Café will be run and owned by the community, with a dedicated team of volunteer directors, who are residents of Murdishaw, making decisions on the space. The money made will be invested back into the project to provide more opportunities for local people.

“The CiC has shown real vision and commitment to this project, and we are excited that the community-led vision for this cafe is about to be realised. We look forward to opening the doors and showing the community what we have been working on together later this year.”

About Gorsewood Green CiC

The launch of the new Social Enterprise (Gorsewood Green CiC) in Murdishaw is part of a wider community regeneration plan delivered by Onward and local partners in Murdishaw over the last two years.

Local Murdishaw residents Linda Geddes, Kim Dupree and Karen Purnell are Directors of the new CiC, alongside Gary Stott, Chair of Community Shop.

Coverage here: Work begins to transform old boxing gym into community café in Runcorn | Runcorn and Widnes World