AskBoA: Westbury Gardens cafe?

Can anybody bring me – and perhaps others – up to speed with the status and future of the cafe in Westbury Gardens?

Some of us understood the cafe to be a necessary evil if the Tourist Information Centre was to survive: I know people asked, e.g., “Haven’t we got enough cafes?” and “Did they get ‘proper’ permission?” etc.

A cynic might say that the proprietors have now got just what they want: a cafe in a prime location without the tedious business of having to run a TIC. Personally, I think we should take commerce out of Westbury Gardens, and give other cafe proprietors a better chance.

What do others think?

I suppose it’s possible that it’s being retained so we can have a newsworthy Christmas tree every year?


    • Just a small point. The proprietors of the café had nothing to do with the running of the TIC which was managed on behalf of the members by FAB! Global Events. The café paid the TIC rent and commission on their turnover. As the building is rented presumably it is now up to the landlord to decide on whether he continues leasing his property to the café, in view of the closure of their principal tenant. Without the footfall of the TIC maybe the café might suffer.

      • Thanks for the clarification. I suppose my note should say ‘support’ rather than ‘run’ then? But the point is the same, I think.

        • Andrew. The café was never going to support the TIC and in my opinion it was naive to believe it would. The major income came from members and the Town. The café, shop and events helped to contribute to reducing the TIC deficit but patently not sufficiently for them to continue. If the Town wants a TIC they need to place more funding than they have in the past as distributing free information costs money despite the very loyal and willing volunteer force giving their time for free.

    • Bring back the Tourist Information Centre which is needed in our Town not another Cafe.

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