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'Keep cafe in Gloucester's new bus station' says trader

By citizenmike  |  Posted: June 25, 2014

By Michael Wilkinson, Public Affairs correspondent

10581524

Jane and Matthew Stevens

Comments (4)

CAFE owner Matthew Stevens says he wants his Bus Station Cafe to remain a part of the new proposed bus station for Gloucester.

The £5million needed to secure a new bus station for the city was secured earlier this year.

Developers have committed to starting work on the bus station after the Rugby World Cup, which will be held in September 2015.

But Mr Stevens is hoping planners will not brush aside his popular independent, family-run cafe in favour of a chain such as Costa.

He is also hoping that while construction work is under way that his cafe will be allowed to operate from a temporary building on another part of the station.

Mr Stevens, who took over the business in September last year, said: “I love travelling around to other cities and unfortunately they are looking more and more like each other. They are overrun with Costas and McDonalds.

“People love coming here. It is one of the cheapest cafes in the city and all of the food is locally sourced. We want to keep hold of that.”

Mr Stevens, who started out as a street trader 24 years ago, has backed the plans for a new bus station. He said: “The biggest problem with the current bus station is that it has been neglected over the years and it is not attractive.

“It needs to be replaced and I support the plans.”

He has offered to wrap his 1950s cafe in vinyl to make it look more attractive for the Rugby World Cup. He is also planning putting in rugby memorabilia and extending opening hours to accommodate some of the thousands of international visitors expected to pile into the city for the four games at Kingsholm.

Gloucester City Council leader Paul James said: “It is early days to say how the adjoining units to the bus station would be configured but there will absolutely be a place for independent traders.

“The bus station cafe is an institution and it has a very loyal customer base. I would hope that there will be a place for it for its long term future.

“We must follows all the correct rules for procurement, however.”

A planning application for the wider King’s Quarter redevelopment, including detailed plans for the bus station, will be submitted by developers Stanhope before the end of the year.

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4 comments

  • jas37  |  June 26 2014, 9:32AM

    xlitho, The Council clearly couldn't be seen to favouring an individual Business, they would leave themselves open to all sorts of accusations. Obviously any potential new tenants would have to pay the Market rate for the unit, I would imagine this would be considerably higher than the current tennants

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  • xlitho  |  June 26 2014, 8:26AM

    "We must follows all the correct rules for procurement, however." Get out clause for later?

    Rate   5
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  • Justica  |  June 25 2014, 7:12PM

    .... and the best cup of tea in town.

    Rate   2
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  • JemmyWood  |  June 25 2014, 2:44PM

    I hope they do stay... They do a cracking bacon sarnie in there.

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