Redundancies made as Peterborough Cathedral tea room closes for the final time

Redundancies have been made after the tea room at Peterborough Cathedral closed for the final time today (Wednesday).

Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 5:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:43 pm
Becket's Tea Room, which closed today

Becket’s Tea Room opened in April 2017 as a collaboration between the Cathedral and Venture Catering, a division of Peterborough Regional College (PRC) Ventures, with any profits shared equally between PRC and the Cathedral.

But it closed at 3pm today, as it was not making enough money.

It is now hoped a new business will take over the site.

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Paul Tapparno-Clark of Venture Catering said: “It has been a privilege to be the first to run Becket’s Tea Room following the Becket Chapel’s internal refurbishment in 2017 and it has been wonderful to use it as a training ground for PRC students working alongside our professional catering staff.

“However, visitor numbers have fluctuated and despite a number of loyal customers there was insufficient business to continue trading. Whilst PRCV has done all it can to support staff at this time, sadly we have had to make a number redundant.”

Andrew Roberts, the Cathedral Administrator said: “We would like to thank Venture Catering for all their hard work in setting up and establishing the Tea Room.

“We are also grateful to the loyal customers who have visited regularly and would like to assure them that we are exploring various options so that we can continue to offer hospitality to Cathedral visitors.”

The site of the Tea Room, the Becket Chapel, dates substantially from around 1320 and incorporates the remains of a building constructed in the 1170s to house holy relics from St Thomas Becket. In 1541 the Chapel became the new King’s School and remained so until 1885 when it became the first home for Peterborough Museum. Since then it has been used as a Chapter House, meeting room and rehearsal space for the Cathedral Choir, as well as a café run by volunteers during the 1990s.