Belper River Gardens tearooms appeal hits £8,000

The old tearooms at Belper River Gardens.
The old tearooms at Belper River Gardens.

More than £8,000 has so far been donated to a Community Interest Company established earlier this year to replace Belper’s derelict riverside tearooms.

Most of the money has been raised through the “buy-a-brick” scheme where donors receive a certificate and an entry on a virtual wall on the website, to be replaced by a permanent plaque in the building when completed, plus an invitation to the opening event.

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Trevor Griffin, one of the four company directors, said: “This demonstrates very forcibly how much the people of Belper and the surroundings want to see the return of these much-needed facilities.

“It gives the company the evidence that it needs to get further grants and support in order to complete the project. We would like to raise £10,000 by this means (buy a brick), but it now looks as if we will make it and we are very grateful for the support.”

Plans for the tearooms have been prepared for professional costing and pre-planning consultation. These costs are being met from the donations received so far.

Trevor continued: “The site is a sensitive one and it is important to make sure that we take the views of all interested parties into account to ensure that the tearooms get planning permission. Once that is in place it is more likely that we will get the funds to complete the building.”

The CIC has also arranged a fundraising concert, thanks to the generosity of the Bel Canto Choir who will appear at St Peter’s Church at 7pm on Saturday January 14. For more information, visit www.belpertearooms.co.uk.

Members of the public can buy a brick via the same website, or can pick up a form at the Strutt’s Centre, Belper Library or St John’s Chapel.

Firms interested in sponsorship can email info@belpertearooms.co.uk.