Café is latest victim of economy and cuts

Coasters cafe, Eastfield.    081582
Coasters cafe, Eastfield. 081582

AN EASTFIELD café which acted as a training hub for vulnerable young people and a meeting place for locals is to close.

Coasters Community Café, in Westway, will shut its doors for the final time on August 19, after falling victim to government spending cuts and the economic downturn.

7/7/09 News'Coasters Caf� Eastfield vocational training presentation.'Mayor Bill Chatt (right) and Mayoress Michelle Chatt(left) with students and sponsors..'092840

7/7/09 News'Coasters Caf� Eastfield vocational training presentation.'Mayor Bill Chatt (right) and Mayoress Michelle Chatt(left) with students and sponsors..'092840

It is understood that it is not yet clear whether any permanent staff members will lose their jobs.

Stephanie Sturrock, chief executive of charity Seachange which runs the café, said: “It is very sad for us. We have tried everything we can to keep it open but the economic downturn and reductions in schools’ budgets have meant that it is no longer viable for us to continue.”

Since it opened in January 2008, the café has offered 47 young people, many of whom struggled in mainstream education, vocational training programmes in catering and food safety.

An additional 132 local people have attended courses in catering, first aid and basic skills while 28 members of the public have given their time voluntarily in an effort to make the café a success.

Ms Sturrock added: “We knew when we opened three-and-a-half years ago that it would be a challenge but our staff and volunteer team have done a wonderful job.

“We want to thank all our loyal customers and partner organisations for their support over the years.

“We hope that the local authority and others will be able to find a sustainable long term future for the café and that it might be able to re-open again in the future. We will do everything we can to support them.”

The café was refurbished in 2007 with the backing of Scarborough Council, North Yorkshire County Council and Eastfield Parish Council.

George Pindar Community Sports College and other Scarborough schools supported the café’s training arm by sending students to learn skills at the café.

However, with public spending cuts affecting school’s budgets they found that they could not afford to send students in the same numbers. Although the café was run by Seachange, the building is owned by Scarborough Council.

David Archer, the local authority’s strategic director, said yesterday: “We are obviously very sorry that the café is to close.

“However, on a more positive note, we are working with the local community and a range of agencies to look at alternative ways of running the café in the future and continuing to provide a good service for the people of Eastfield.”