An old disused building in a Whiston park has been refurbished and turned into a café by a local couple following investment from funding provider MSIF.
Henley Park Pavilion, which is in Henley Memorial Park, adjacent to Whiston Hospital, had been derelict for over 20 years. It has been totally transformed into a modern contemporary cafe serving breakfast, light meals, hot drinks, luxury ice creams and milkshakes.
The business has been set up by Dave Birchall at a cost of £45k including a Start Up Loan from MSIF and a grant from Knowsley Council.
Mr Birchall said: “The building has been sitting empty for some time and I approached the council who were very supportive of my plans to refurbish it and turn it into a café. It was an extensive renovation project and I’ve done the majority of work myself with the help of some good friends."
“I’m already getting some regular trade from staff and visitors at the hospital as well as local businesses, families and dog walkers. It’s a great to see people’s reactions and comments when they walk in. It makes all the hard work worthwhile."
“In the next couple of years I’d like to offer a broader bistro-type menu and also want to run events like the one I put on for Halloween, children’s parties and local group meetings."
"As well as being an exciting business venture, as a local I’m very proud to be giving something back to the community by creating a nice facility that people can relax and enjoy at their leisure."
“MSIF and Knowsley Council were a fantastic support in helping to make this idea a reality and I can’t thank them enough for all their help.”
MSIF investment manager Andy Jones said: “This was a great opportunity to turn a run-down building into a thriving business and we are very happy to support Dave in his venture. Henleys is in an excellent location with lots of passing trade and he has already built up a loyal customer base. His plans to extend the restaurant offering and put on events will expand the business further.”Henleys currently employs a chef and will also take on 3 waiting on staff.