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Park Life Heavitree Recruit Cafe Manager As The Build Passes Half Way Point

Park Life Heavitree Recruit Cafe Manager As The Build Passes Half Way Point

Park Life Heavitree, a local charity set up 10 years ago has appointed a Cafe Manager as the building project for a brand new community facility located in the popular Heavitree Pleasure Ground passes the halfway point.

The purpose-built Park Life Heavitree Cafe and Hub, being constructed by local firm Devon Contractors will feature a hireable hall space and cafe which will cater for up to 50 internal covers together with covered outdoor seating and a takeaway hatch for park goers!

Renee Marchant, local Heavitree resident has been appointed as the Park Cafe Manager, bringing with her a wealth of experience as a cookery tutor and chef passionate about serving nutritious, fresh and delicious food that supports mental and physical wellbeing. Renee has previously worked for a Cafe based in a park in Tottenham before relocating to Exeter working as a Chef at the popular Welcome Cafe on Exeter Quay and as a cookery tutor for The Sidwell Street Cookery School.

Parklife Heavitree

Renee comments:

‘I’m beyond delighted to have been given this opportunity. I really believe in the values and mission Park Life Heavitree has and can’t wait to play my part in managing this exciting new community cafe located in the heart of our local green space.’

Park Cafe will open later this year selling affordable, quality, freshly made, local and sustainable food and drink with Renee bringing her own distinctive Mediterranean influenced flavours.

The vision for this project has been a decade in the making, with a small team of passionate volunteers giving their time to deliver this much needed community facility. The café and hub project is a central part of Park Life Heavitree’s overall aim to bring people together from all walks of life, reduce social isolation, create community cohesion, and to help people to lead healthy and active lifestyles – centred around the local green space.

Renee Marchant Parklife
Renee Marchant is the new Park Life Heavitree Cafe Manager

The £800k build which started in January 2021 has now passed the halfway point with the main structural works complete, roof in place and internal spaces being created. The Park Life Heavitree Cafe and Hub will open later this year located adjacent to the basketball courts and bowling green in Heavitree Pleasure Grounds.

Ben Hunt, Park Life Heavitree founder, trustee and building team lead said:

‘It really is incredible to see the building taking shape after so many years of dreaming and planning. We are so close to opening our doors and can’t wait to welcome the local community into the new space very soon, especially after the last year of lockdowns and social isolation. We’re thrilled to have Renee join the team, she’s got so many great ideas and will be a real asset to this project.’

Parklife Heavitree

The build cost of £803k has been raised in full via local fundraising coordinated by Park Life Heavitree and successful community grant applications from Power to Change, The National Lottery Community Fund, Sport England Community Asset Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Bernard Sunley Foundation, The Co-op Community Fund, The People’s Postcode Lottery, Exeter City Council and John Lewis Partnership.

Local architect Sean Keaney from Fairview Architecture was appointed in May 2016. Planning permission was received in May 2018 with a full tender exercise in autumn 2019. A value engineering exercise was completed in spring 2020 before the preferred building partner Devon Contractors Ltd were appointed in autumn 2020. The total construction cost for the build is £803,000.

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