A FAMILY-RUN cafe opened in Priory Park on Saturday (April 12), and it was another piece in the puzzle to regenerate the park.
Dawn and Rob Bunker have opened Fenwicks Cafe in the Chichester park after running a kiosk in Hotham Park for many years.
Footballer Paul Jones and Olympic medallist Sarah Ayton arrived at the new cafe to cut the ribbon at 1pm – officially opening the new kiosk.
In addition, the Bunkers raised £227 for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice with the official opening.
The new cafe also marks a new era in the life of Priory Park, which has seen several improvements in the past few years.
Chairman of the Friends of Priory Park, Richard Plowman, said: “We have been trying to do things to improve the park for a very long time.
“We did a survey and residents came back and said the number one priority was for a cafe in the park.
“That really set us off thinking about it. We were very lucky the Bunkers came along.”
He praised the wooden building, which fits in with the feel of the park and was built from scratch by Mr Bunker.
The cafe is now up and running, serving drinks, snacks and hot food, and is sure to bring even more people into the park.
Other changes to the park include a children’s play park which was built three years ago, and the restoration of the mound, giving what Mr Plowman called ‘a Norman motte feel’.
“The park over the past five years really has gone through fairly major changes,” said Mr Plowman.
And the Bunkers are the latest addition. It’s very much a family affair, with their sons Jack, 26, and Alfie, 20, working alongside them.
The cafe also supports other local firms, and most of the food, and even the coffee, is from local producers in Sussex.
This is just the latest step in regenerating Priory Park, and Mr Plowman explained why it was such an important job.
“I have always thought it was one of the jewels of Chichester,” he said.
“It really is a very much used and loved park. The best view of the cathedral is from Priory Park.”