New cafe on cards at Havant’s £13m Plaza development

REVAMP The foyer at the Plaza, part of which will become a cafe
REVAMP The foyer at the Plaza, part of which will become a cafe

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A NEW cafe is set to open at Havant’s revamped civic offices.

The Tory cabinet has agreed to advertise the lease for a cafe at the £13m Public Service Plaza next month.

The item was added to the cabinet agenda to allow any successful bidder to open the cafe in June.

This is the date when scores of Havant Borough Council, Hampshire County Council and Capita staff move into the second phase of the development.

As previously reported, the council’s 33-year-old canteen closed last year, making five people redundant.

The new one would be open to the public. On average, 1,000 people visit the Plaza every month – as well as the 740 council and voluntary sector staff who will occupy the building.

The lease will be advertised in early April, with the aim of selecting a bidder to provide the service in May.

The council is encouraging local and small businesses to apply.

Councillor Jackie Branson, who is in charge of governance and logistics, said: ‘It’s a fantastic opportunity for the successful bidder, with a lot of potential customers in a landmark building. Council staff have pulled out all the stops to make this possible in a timescale that will benefit the bidder.’

The operator of the cafe will not have an exclusive contract to provide catering for the new event suite at the council.

Officials said this would ensure flexibility for those hiring the suite to provide their own caterers as required.

As Havant is a Fairtrade borough, the council will also specify that the cafe should use Fairtrade products.

The initial lease will be for up to six years. The cafe would open from Monday to Friday.

More detailed specifications will be made available next month.