Community launches ‘buy-a-brick’ campaign for new River Gardens café

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

Members of the public are being invited to buy a “brick” as part of a community campaign to build a new tearooms in Belper River Gardens.

The proposal to replace the existing derelict building is being taken forward by a community interest company, owned and controlled by town residents.

With a design agreed and planning applications in the pipeline, they company has secured promises of funding from local councils and are applying for grants to cover the capital costs—but in the short term there is a need for cash to get the project going.

Les Dorey, who is one of the company directors said: ”We need people in Belper to support this scheme in order to make it happen.

“Buying a brick is a neat way of doing this and will provide a permanent record of their generosity and involvement to future generations enjoying the new tearooms.”

For £25 donors will receive a virtual brick the project website and, when the building is eventually built, a permanent record on a supporter wall.

Donors will also receive a certificate and an invitation to the opening event.

Each donation will help increase the probability of getting larger grants, showing funding bodies that there is local support for the new building.

The project has endured a decade of false starts, but supporters believe there is now a clear pathway to completion.

Planners intend for the café to become a focal point for events and visitors to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, and a top class venue for special occasions.

Donation forms are available at St John’s Heritage Centre, Strutt’s North Mill, the Strutt’s Centre, or online with the full project details at