Court action to proceed

Regular visitors to the University Church will be aware of our plans to redevelop the café and establish a social enterprise.

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the Old Congregation House, its ancillary buildings and the church yard and must ensure that necessary works take place so that this significant landmark building is in a fit state of repair with accessible and energy efficient facilities. The PCC also hopes that development of the café as a social enterprise when it reopens will improve the quality of welcome to the University Church and further its work as a charity.

The plans, which have been in development for almost two years, led to appropriate notice being given to the current licensee, Mr Pouget of Fresh Connection Limited, to vacate the premises at the end of August this year so that the PCC redevelopment plans could be undertaken.

Recent meetings with representatives of the PCC, messages posted to the current café website and comments given to the media by the business owners indicated that Mr Pouget and Fresh Connection wished to avoid legal action requiring possession of the premises to be given up, and to negotiate a settlement.

The PCC and Mr Pouget / Fresh Connection have tried to reach an agreed outcome in recent days, but have not been able to conclude terms. This means that we must now pursue the appropriate remedies and regain possession of our premises through the courts. The first hearing will take place on 14 November. We look forward to providing a further update once the legal process has been completed.

13 November 2023