Graves Park: Rose Garden Cafe closure protesters report progress in talks with Sheffield City Council

Campaigners fighting to reopen a Sheffield park cafe that was closed because of structural concerns say they have made progress in talks with Sheffield City Council.
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The popular Rose Garden Cafe in Graves Park closed in July following a structural report that expressed serious concerns over the state of the roof.

Save the Rose Garden Cafe has been campaigning alongside Friends of Graves Park over fears that Sheffield City Council might opt to demolish the 95-year-old building.

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Campaigner Liz Hnat, who launched an online petition signed by more than 8,000 people, said she felt that progress had been made after talks between campaigners and council officials.

The Rose Garden Cafe in Graves Park, Sheffield - campaigners fighting to reopen the cafe believe they have made progress in talks with Sheffield City Council officers. Photo by Andy KershawThe Rose Garden Cafe in Graves Park, Sheffield - campaigners fighting to reopen the cafe believe they have made progress in talks with Sheffield City Council officers. Photo by Andy Kershaw
The Rose Garden Cafe in Graves Park, Sheffield - campaigners fighting to reopen the cafe believe they have made progress in talks with Sheffield City Council officers. Photo by Andy Kershaw

She said that the officials have agreed to move quickly to prop up the cafe within the next two weeks so that a full inspection and structural survey can take place.

They have also agreed to campaigners jointly instructing a surveyor with their questions about the building. An analysis will look at what repairs and refurbishment are needed.

They can then look at the possibility of joint fundraising to get the work done.

‘A lack of trust with Sheffield Council’

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Andy Kershaw, from the campaign group, said on its Facebook page: “We left them in no doubt about the extent of your anger and upset at the circumstances which led to the closure and explained why there was a huge issue of a lack of trust with Sheffield Council and that they needed to earn it back.

“The officers began by apologising for a number of things they admitted they’d handled poorly.”

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He added: “Regrettably, they haven’t agreed to provide a temporary replacement building but we are confident this process sets in train events which could lead to the cafe reopening instead of months of delay.”

Discussions are understood to be taking place with Sheffield catering company Brewkitchen, who were running the cafe on behalf of the council, about future plans.

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Campaigners are heading to the council’s south area local area committee on Tuesday, October 11 at 6pm to continue pressing their points. The meeting takes place at Mount View Methodist Church, on Derbyshire Lane.

The petition will officially be presented to the council on November 2.