York’s Spurriergate Centre has partially reopened after closing suddenly this summer.
The venue shut in July after the company running the restaurant, cafe and fair-trade shop, situated in a former church dating back to the 12th Century, went into liquidation.
Cllr Chris Cullwick, a trustee of the organisation said the closure was met with sadness from many visitors.
But he added that the centre has now partially reopened three days a week.
‘It has been missed’
Cllr Cullwick said: “It was open for almost 30 years and it has been missed.
“Spurriergate is open again three days a week from 10am, it’s open to provide a community space and meeting space. There are hot drinks and limited refreshments on a pay as you feel basis, but it’s not on a commercial basis.
“People are telling us how they are missing it and that it’s a place where they meet with friends.”
The centre shut in July with the loss of 20 jobs, after trade was badly hit by the extreme weather and by growing competition.
Some activities, such as the breakfast for vulnerable people, counselling services and international cafe meetings, continued at the centre despite the closure.
Cllr Cullwick added:
It’s a wonderful building in the heart of the city centre. We are delighted that it’s open again on a limited basis.
We really want it to become a community space again. We are very grateful to our volunteers, many of whom have returned.
Committed to social justice
The organisation is currently looking at developing more uses for the centre in the future and extending the opening hours.
A statement on the Spurriergate Centre’s website said: “We have been told that our closure affected a lot of people personally and that some have found it difficult to find alternatives to meet their needs.
“The trustees and remaining staff know that this saddened many people, but we could not continue to pay our way.
“We remain committed to social justice and want to reach out to poor and disadvantaged people.”