Popular community cafe closes due to 'financial pressures'

File photo of people taking part in a Macmillan Coffee Morning at North Lodge Park Cafe in Cromer.  

File photo of people taking part in a Macmillan Coffee Morning at North Lodge Park Cafe in Cromer. - Credit: Dave Hubba Roberts

A popular volunteer-run cafe in Cromer has closed its doors permanently due to financial pressures. 

North Lodge Park Cafe - which was last opened before Christmas, will not reopen because it has become "financially unsustainable" - according to the group that runs it, the Friends of North Lodge Park (FONLP). 

Jim Bond and Steve Baker, co-chairs of the Friends', have said: "Over the years the cafe was open, it had become a special place for locals and volunteers alike. 

Friends of North Lodge Park and supporters toast their success in being granted a licence to run the

Flashback to 2016, when Friends of North Lodge Park and supporters toast their success in being granted a licence to run the café commercially. - Credit: Mark Bullimore

"The hard work put in by the many volunteers not only made for a welcoming environment but generated funds to enable us to complete the new play bridge and equip the play area.

"The effects of Covid, staffing costs, increase in stock cost and health and safety legislation have all contributed to the difficulty in making ends meet."

Mr Bond and Mr Baker said they wanted to thank all of the cafe's supporters and volunteers who had made it a success since it started in 2016.

They said the Friends would continue to look after the park and its planting beds, and had plans to install more play equipment.

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The announcement was greeted with sadness on social media by the many fans of the cafe. 

One said: "I can understand the difficulties you face, the cafe will be greatly missed by my family who have used it for years.

"Thank you for what you have achieved and good luck with your plans for the future."

Another supporter said: "A big thank you for all that FONLP did to provide such a marvellous cafe in recent times.

"I for one loved it for the scrumptious refreshments and it was also a super place to meet friends.

"The gardens look great again this year and the community appreciates all the time and effort that the volunteers continue to give to making the area so lovely and is enjoyed by so many."

Another comment read: "So sad to hear this. Such a special place. But I understand the immense challenges which you have found yourself facing.

"You will definitely be greatly missed."