Spud and the Handlebar Cafe

We are delighted to have recently started working with SPUDan award winning organisation that brings people together, from all walks of life, to collaborate on educational, art and architectural projects.Responsible for Stephen Turner’s Exbury Egg, the Observatory at Buckler’s Hard, Beaulieu in the New Forest and the provision of SPUD Youth, SPUD strives to make lasting difference to local communities.

Having attended a Social Enterprise and Engagement networking event, hosted by the Revd Canon Nick Ralph director of social enterprise and engagement for the Diocese of Winchester and Portsmouth, I met Heather Evans who runs a CIC called Bespoke Biking CIC. Bespoke Biking CIC were working with SPUD and together looking to raise £200,000 to build the Handlebar Cafe, a youth designed project.

Whilst the project had started well the fundraising was starting to get increasingly difficult with both Heather and Mark (CE of SPUD) having too many other commitments to spend all of their time fundraising for this project. They decided to turn to Daily Bread Consultancy for support with their fundraising and we have been working well together for the past couple of months.

The Handlebar Cafe that we are working on is coming to Winchester, the concept of which was designed by a member of Spud Youth Alex Grice. The Handlebar Cafe is an ongoing project, organised by young students from various schools and colleges in Winchester and the New Forest who have participated in the SPUD Youth workshops.
Having presented the idea to Winchester City Council and to the Town Forum, SPUD and the student participants were invited to develop the designs further and explore whether this idea was feasible.

From an intensive series of workshops held in 2015, supported by Winchester City Council, University of Portsmouth, ArchitecturePLB and other commercial organisations the members of Spud Youth developed the plans, designs and business case more fully.

The cafe will be located near a popular cycle path in Winchester and a short distance from St Catherines Hill. The idea is that friends and families will be able to purchase delicious food and drinks at a unique cafe after their cycle ride or walk, with a gorgeous views back across the meadows to St Cross. You don’t have to be a cyclists – anyone can visit and enjoy the delicious meals and drinks the cafe offers. People can arrive and hire a bike or if your bike is damaged you can get basic repairs and purchase bicycle parts and accessories.

The overall plan is for SPUD as a charity, to retain ownership of the Handlebar Cafe, with Winchester-based Bespoke Biking operating the café and cycle workshop on a day to day basis as a Community Interest Company (CIC).  This arrangement would ensure long-term sustainability. Bespoke Biking would run the café as a CIC, providing refreshments, activities and a cycle repair shop.  In addition to this they would provide valuable work experience and employment opportunities for local people.

The form of the café represents two railway carriages passing one another and is inspired by the site’s former use as the Didcot to Southampton Railway Line (closed in the 1960’s) and will be made of natural and sympathetic materials to suit the special location. The materials will be long lasting, highly sustainable and unobtrusive.  A long strip window and exterior decked areas on the northwest elevation allow views over the adjacent water meadows and Winchester beyond.This is a very exciting project, which has evolved from SPUD Youth’s weekly workshops. SPUD Youth  (Placemaking for Young people) is an award-winning workshop programme for young people aged 12 plus who are interested in arts, architecture & design.  Architecture PLB has supported young people in the development process of this project over the past 2 years, along with the local offices of Mace, Arup and numerous other commercial companies.  Young People benefited by learning a breadth of new skills and knowledge, adding to and improving their CV’s and college applications as well as gaining in confidence, presentation skills, having a voice and influencing decision making.

We currently have a number of local firms pledging support and over £126,000 in pledged funding. The total needed for this project to become a reality is in the region of £350,000 and we need support form the local community. All donations no matter how small are valued and can be made through the Spud website http://www.spudgroup.org.uk/donate or by texting SPUD15 £10 to 70070. If you are in a position to support the project in a larger capacity and would like to get involve then please email me sam@dailybreadconsultancy.org.uk