THIS summer work will begin to transform an old boxing gym into a community café in Runcorn.

The Teatree Café will be situated in Murdishaw on Gorsewood Road and will be run by a group of residents under a new social enterprise - The Gorsewood Green CiC.

Exciting plans are in place to convert the derelict building into a café the whole community can enjoy, while the remaining space surrounding the plot is expected be turned into a market square for small food vendors and pop-up shops to benefit from.

The community-led project is backed by Halton Borough Council and funded by local housing associations Onward Homes and Riverside Housing, both who have worked in partnership with The Gorsewood Green CiC to get the idea off the ground.

Runcorn and Widnes World: The café will replace the old boxing gym in Murdishaw The café will replace the old boxing gym in Murdishaw (Image: Onward Homes)

The social enterprise, formed by passionate locals who want to improve their hometown, said there has been a need for a community café in the area for a long time.

Linda Geddes, chair of the group said: “From the feedback we received, it was clear that local people wanted somewhere to meet informally as a community, somewhere to learn and share skills and participate in activities at different times of the day.

“The Tea Tree Café will be a new place for local people to socialise and enjoy a range of activities.

“We will also be working and coordinating with the existing community centre on a range of training, learning and skills opportunities.

“We are excited to get stuck in and put our stamp on the café in the months to come.”

Over the summer, Onward and its contractors Brown & Bancroft and Equans will be starting work on the café, and it is expected that the doors will open later this year.

The team will be hosting a series of pop-up lunches and events over Autumn whilst getting use to the space, before establishing a regular pattern of opening hours.

Runcorn and Widnes World: A community group have worked in partnership with local housing associations to fund the projectA community group have worked in partnership with local housing associations to fund the project (Image: Onward Homes)

Bronwen Rapley, chief executive of Onward Homes, said: “It was important to us that residents took the lead in any plans for Murdishaw.

“Working with the Gorsewood Green CiC and our partners, local voices have been at the heart of this project from the start and this space has been designed to reflect residents’ experiences, knowledge, and aspirations.

The Tea Tree Café will be run and owned by the community, with a dedicated team of volunteer directors, who are residents of Murdishaw, making decisions on the space.

“The money made will be invested back into the project to provide more opportunities for local people.

“The CiC has shown real vision and commitment to this project, and we are excited that the community-led vision for this cafe is about to be realised. We look forward to opening the doors and showing the community what we have been working on together later this year.”