A brand new community coffee shop is set to open thanks to £65,000 of Stoke-on-Trent City Council funding.
Volunteers Robert and Emily Price have spent six years transforming vacant space at Love Stoke Church at Meir Park Community Centre into Love Coffee.
The pair have spent more than £245,000 on the new coffee shop, which includes £65,000 from two rounds of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Community Investment Fund (CIF) which has gone towards building the coffee shop and kitting it out with a new coffee machine, dishwasher, furniture and crockery as well as disabled ramps and additional disabled parking spaces.
Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure, and public health said: “We are delighted to have been able to support the launch of this brand-new coffee shop at the Love Stoke Church at Meir Park Community Centre.
“Love Stoke Church has used just under £65,000 from two rounds of Community Investment Fund money to transform this space into something fantastic. Love Coffee is an amazing venue which provides an inclusive space for all members of the community.
“It serves great coffee and great cakes and people can even pay it forward by buying a drink for the next person who might need that support. It really is a fantastic facility for the local community.”
Love Coffee is due to officially open to the public on Thursday, November 3.
The coffee shop will initially be open on Thursdays and Fridays but Robert and Emily already have plans to extend its opening hours to six days a week in the future.
Meir Park Community Centre also hosts activities such as over 50s groups, Slimming World and karate sessions with plans to host a walking group in the near future.
Robert Price, senior leader at Love Stoke Church, said: “We have always had a vision that the coffee shop will become a community hub for residents and a place of excellence. Every penny spent here will be going back into the community to allow us to grow the offer of the community centre.
“It’s in our DNA to give back more than we take. Our motto is to love people and that’s why it’s called Love Coffee. We want people to have a sense of belonging and a safe place and with the Community Investment Fund money from Stoke-on-Trent City Council we have been able to create that. We could not have done all of this without Stoke-on-Trent City Council, so we are very grateful. Our hearts are bursting that we have finally been able to achieve this after six years.”
Since Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Community Investment Fund was launched in 2017, it has awarded £3.6 million in grants to 181 projects.
Priorities are given to projects that: Transform outcomes for children and young people in the city, Improve education and skill levels for residents of all age, Protect and improve mental and physical health and wellbeing, Work with residents and partners to make our communities safer, cleaner and healthier, Celebrate and promote Stoke-on-Trent as a destination for business, heritage, and culture.
For more details about the Community Investment Fund visit www.stoke.gov.uk/cif