Construction work starts on Handlebar Café project

A community cycle café project supported by the city council is one step closer to becoming a reality after the first spades were put in the ground.

Construction work on the Handlebar Café has now begun and, to mark the occasion, a special event was attended by the Mayor of Winchester Cllr Frank Pearson, Winchester City Council Leader, Cllr Caroline Horrill, Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Cllr Jan Warwick and Cllr Anne Weir, chair of the Winchester Town Forum.

They joined members of the SPUD group, who work with young people from across Winchester, and other sponsors including Hampshire County Council. The concept has been developed over the last five years by the SPUD charity.

The project will see a café built on the former railway embankment between Garnier Road and St Catherine’s Hill, run by Bespoke Biking who will also provide bike repairs and riding events.

Winchester City Council portfolio holder for environment, Cllr Jan Warwick, said:

“We are proud to be supporting such a worthwhile project that has benefitted young people in Winchester.

“We have worked closely with the SPUD group and been very impressed with their plans, and I know this will provide excellent value to cyclists, families, visitors and our residents.”

The city council has been behind the project from the outset and will provide a total of £75,000 towards it.

Chair of the Town Forum, Cllr Anne Weir said:

“The Forum has closely followed the progress of this exciting project from the initial competition for young designers. I’m delighted to see the foundations are now in place at Garnier Road and that we will see the café in operation in the summer.”