Competition to find operator for Belper's new Swiss tearooms

An artist's impression of the new Swiss tearooms in Belper.
An artist's impression of the new Swiss tearooms in Belper.

A competition has been launched to find an experienced commercial operator to run Belper’s new Swiss tearooms.

The project to replace Belper River Gardens, at Mill View, has been badly affected by the flooding of the nearby River Derwent in November, and then by damage to a retaining wall, caused by an accident. Both hampered access to the eagerly-awaited building.

But it is now on course for completion during the spring of this year, so Amber Valley Borough Council is keen to seek an operator.

Coun Ben Bellamy, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “With the progress being made towards completing the new Swiss tearooms, I’m excited to be able to launch this competition.

“It will help us employ the right operator and ensure the long-term success of the tearooms.

“This is a unique opportunity within the very heart of a world heritage site. We have already had a good deal of interest.”

The original tearooms closed in 1981 after vandalism. The new building will seat 44 customers and a further 40 on an outside veranda overlooking the river.

The council says operators should have experience of running a successful food business, selling good-quality hot and cold food and drinks. It is particularly keen to ensure a menu that reflects the tastes of local residents and visitors.

The council also stresses that it would like the tearooms to be open throughout the year and at evenings during the peak summer season.