New Costa gets behind Hilsea youth project

Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason with Matt Thomas who uses LDD (holding cheque), Andy Hirst and Robin Arkle of Costa and LDD Youth Club members. Picture: Robin Jones/Digital South
Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason with Matt Thomas who uses LDD (holding cheque), Andy Hirst and Robin Arkle of Costa and LDD Youth Club members. Picture: Robin Jones/Digital South

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A new Costa coffee shop in Hilsea is putting its local community first.

The London Road store, which opened on September 23, announced its decision to support Hilsea LDD Youth Club at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Costa was opened on Saturday. Picture: Robin Jones/Digital South

The Costa was opened on Saturday. Picture: Robin Jones/Digital South

Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason did the honours on Saturday, presenting a £500 cheque to Councillor Jennie Brent and the youth co-ordinator, youth club manager and children from Hilsea Youth Club.

The club aims to give young people aged 11 to 25 with learning difficulties a safe place to learn life skills whilst taking part in a range of activities including art and craft projects and cooking to pool, sport, games and issue-based workshops.

The new Hilsea Costa is creating eight new jobs plus training and apprenticeship opportunities.

Maddie Scoates, Costa’s operations manager said: ‘We’re so pleased the Deputy Lord Mayor and Hilsea Youth Club could help us officially open our new store.

The Costa was opened on Saturday. Picture: Robin Jones/Digital South

The Costa was opened on Saturday. Picture: Robin Jones/Digital South

We want to embed ourselves as part of the community and what better way to do that than involve ourselves with the young people of the area?’

Managing the store is Geoff Gibbs. Geoff used to work in Southsea’s Albert Road Costa and described his excitement at helping to head the new 2,000sq ft cafe.

Geoff said: ‘The new Costa in Hilsea will become a focal point for the local community to come and experience great coffee in a friendly and relaxed environment. The whole team is looking forward to welcoming the people of Hilsea to our new Costa, which we hope will quickly become a key part of the local community.’

Councillor Jennie Brent, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for property and housing, said: ‘I’m delighted that Costa has chosen to support Hilsea Youth Club. It’s such a worthwhile cause as it provides a great facility for young people to engage in activities and learn new skills. We hope to use the donation to buy tablets for the centre, which means the young people will have greater access to play interactive games, learn and expand their knowledge, help with their homework, and enjoy general knowledge quizzes which they particularly enjoy. I wish Premiere Coffee and the new Hilsea store team every success.’

Councillor Lee Mason advised that he is happy to have a Costa so close to him. Councillor Lee said: ‘The new Costa will not only create new jobs, facilities and opportunities for local residents but will also support the area’s youth. I wish the new store every success. I’m delighted to finally have a Costa within walking distance of my home.’