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FC United help save local amenity

FC United is to assist the city council and local community in keeping the Lakeside Cafe at Boggart Hole Clough in Blackley open whilst the council look for a new permanent tenant.

The café was threatened with closure when the existing tenant had to retire due to ill-health. The café has become a vital meeting space for local people and is well used by community groups.

FC United’s community team will keep the cafe open on two days per week as an interim measure, managing the café on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10.30am to 3.30pm starting on Tuesday 22nd October. We also plan to use the venue to provide catering and customer relations training opportunities in partnership with Manchester College.

General Manager Andy Walsh said: “It’s an important local amenity and we wanted to play our part in helping to keep it going in the short-term.

“We want to maximise its use not just as a cafe but as a place which could be used by a variety of people and local groups. We’ve not got any plans to run it permanently at this stage what we are offering is an interim arrangement to keep it in use.”

The lakeside cafe has been an important resting place for park visitors for decades and the park has a rich and interesting history. As well as a green leisure space where local people could escape the muck and bustle of city life, the park was a centre of radical political debate in Manchester. In the 19th century social reformers in the suffragette movement and Independent Labour Party used the park for regular rallies with up to 20,000 people in attendance.

Regular runs take place in the park and FC United volunteers have held discussions about the possibility of relocating the Minithon to the park once our ground is built in Moston.

FC United has been working with the council over the last couple of years to bring additional investment to the sports facilities in the park. The park was awarded a Green Flag in 2012 and last summer volunteers from Moston Juniors and FC United helped clean up the athletics track. Earlier this year the council assisted North Manchester and Blackley Athletics club secure a grant of £10,000 to upgrade the athletics facility. Further investment is planned which will enable Moston Juniors to play some of their matches on a new pitch on the in-field at the track.

FC United’s offer of assistance at Boggart Hole Clough and the café is a further demonstration of our commitment to bring benefit to local communities by working in partnership with the council, The Manchester College and local community groups. We strongly believe that in forging partnerships in this way we can help sustain and improve local communities across Manchester.

If any FC United members or fans are interested in helping out with this project on a voluntary basis or just fancy popping down for a cup of tea or a soup and a roll they would be very welcome.

To find out more send an email to robinpye@fc-utd.co.uk or call the FC United office on 0161 273 8950.

But what is a Boggart? –

A boggart is ’malevolent spirit’ or ’bogeyman’ often said to live in a marsh or a hole in the ground.

And a clough is a steep sided, wooded valley.

A large part of Boggart Hole Clough is made up of these valleys and is said to be inhabited by boggarts.

More information and a map showing the location of Boggart Hole Clough click here

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First Posted ~ 05:45 Sat 19 Oct 2013
News ID ~ 5142
Last Updated ~ 10:09 Mon 21 Oct 2013