AN urgent plea has been issued for a much-loved volunteer cafe which needs a new home. 

The future of Bloomers Cafe, which takes place every Saturday and fundraises for the annual Stonehouse in Bloom project, is in jeopardy as the town hall prepares to undergo a change of use.

A new proposal is to see the town’s library relocate from its current premises on Elm Road into the historic town hall building which occupies a prominent position on the High Street.

The town council office, which to date has been housed in the hall’s main room, will make way for the library and move into the much smaller side room of the building where the cafe and kitchen have been housed.

The news has been met with dismay from Bloomers’ supporters and patrons who, for just £2, enjoy tea and a generous offering of homemade cake every Saturday morning from 10-12pm as the volunteer-led table-top sale takes place in the main room of the hall.

“It’s much more than a community cafe, it is an asset to Stonehouse in that it brings the community together” said Penny Sweet, a regular at the Saturday morning cafe.

“This social event has made such a difference to so many people in Stonehouse, as well as raising funds for our In Bloom efforts,” Penny added.

“The fact that it is not a church-based event opens it out to more people too,” Penny continued.

“It’s a lovely community initiative which we feel should keep going,” added Cllr Mattie Ross who has helped out at the cafe from the beginning, as well as being a volunteer at Stonehouse RVS Lunch Club for 20 years.

A spokesperson for Stonehouse town Council said, “The town council will work with Bloomers to help them find suitable alternative accommodation.” 

Town council chairman Neil Gibbs added: "Stonehouse is bucking the national trend of closing public libraries. Instead, thanks to the partnership of Stonehouse Town Hall and Gloucestershire County Council, work is due to start in the autumn to move the library to the High Street.

"The Elm Road premises is no longer fit for purpose. We shall be selling the site and reinvesting the money back into the library and converting the property into other community spaces.

The town hall office space will move into what used to be the town's post office."

Bloomers Cafe and its weekly table-top sale, in aid of Stonehouse in Bloom, continues to be held every Saturday from 10am till 2pm, offering unique crafts, homemade, gifts, bric-a-brac and plants among others.

Stonehouse Town Council is yet to announce a date as to when the cafe will close and works will begin to move the library.