A pavement cafe will open at a Cockermouth arts venue from this weekend.
The team at the Kirkgate Centre are giving its outdoor spaces a makeover to transform them into the community cafe, which will open between 10am and 2pm on Fridays and Saturdays for the next three weeks.
“We want to play our part in bringing Cockermouth back to life now that we can reopen gradually,” said Emma Heys, executive director of Kirkgate Arts and Heritage, which runs the Kirkgate Centre.
“We are setting out tables and chairs at the front and in our enclosed side-yard next to Bitter Beck, decorating the space with bunting, plants and flowers to make it as spring-like and relaxing as possible. It will bring life back to Cockermouth’s picturesque, historic Kirkgate quarter.
“The Women’s Institute, Rotary, Oakhurst Garden Centre and Sainsbury’s have also got involved with donations towards the project. It’s a real community effort, by the community, for the community.”
Kirkgate’s volunteers will be running the events and providing home-made baked goods.
Emma added: “There’ll be a piece of cake or tray bake plus bottomless drink for £2.50. We can take cash or contactless card payments and there will be hand sanitiser and ample space to keep socially distanced.
“Our pavement café will be open to everyone.
“There’s easy access and room for disability scooters, wheelchair users and parents with buggies.
“And the regulations mean that people can come inside and use our loos too.”
Cockermouth WI has donated some flower tubs.
Secretary Yvonne Lambert said: “This enterprise sounds just what we need and some of our ladies will help with baking if called on.”
Wendy Sanders, secretary of the town’s Rotary Club, said: “This is a lovely idea and we hope it will be a great success. I’m looking forward to having a lunch there!”
Andy Coates, Sainsbury’s store manager in Cockermouth, said: “To begin to reopen our town and meet up responsibly will go a long way to restoring personal confidence and assisting everyone’s wellbeing. We are proud to support this great venture.”
The outdoor cafe will be open on April 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and May 1.