Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Darlington's Cafe Create could close without support of community
THE MANAGER of a struggling creative hub is appealing to the local community to step in and help before it’s too late.
Darlington’s Cafe Create could close within months if it does not receive the help it desperately needs to flourish.
For two years, the quirky cafe on Parkgate Chambers has operated as a hub of creativity, working to promote and support the town’s art scene.
The cafe plays an active part in the growing Cultural Quarter, playing host to artists and community groups, running arts-related events and acting as home to Darlovelo cycle hire and host to Darlington Literary Festival.
The venture - solely funded by singer Joanne Land – now faces a struggle for funding that could see it close its doors for good by July.
To combat the potential closure, Ms Land is appealing for volunteers to support the cafe in whatever way possible.
In the near future, it will become a co-operative community interest company (CIC), owned and run by staff, volunteers, artists and community stakeholders.
It is hoped that the change in ownership will secure the longevity of the social enterprise.
Ms Land would like to hear from anyone interested in being involved with the CIC as well as from anybody who could volunteer their time to work and support the much-loved cafe.
She said: “I set up the cafe because I wanted to run a community project that supported the arts, supported community groups and promoted social justice.
“Now it could fold and that is not an empty threat. If we do not get over this funding hurdle, we will have to close.
“If we folded, it would be a blow to the Cultural Quarter, we really need to build up a cultural mass here and can’t afford to lose this.
“We need people to get on board and help keep the cafe going, whether it’s by helping with admin and funding applications, working in the cafe or managing the volunteers.
“We also want people to use the cafe, we are open to community groups or to anyone who is looking for somewhere to host artistic events.”
To get involved with the project, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cafe Create is open from Tuesday-Saturday, 10am until 4pm. For more information, visit cafecreate.ning.com.
Comments are closed on this article.