£350,000 crowdfunding bid to create Business Cafe in historic Peterborough building

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One of the oldest buildings in Peterborough could become home to a new venture to bring city business people together.

The 15th century two-storey premises, in Cumber Street, has been earmarked as the first Business Cafe in a hoped-for network of coffee shops for business people across the UK.

Penny Power outside the premises that could become the first Business Cafe.

Penny Power outside the premises that could become the first Business Cafe.

Key to the venture is a successful £350,000 crowdfunding appeal, which has so far raised £77,480 from 204 investors.

It is hoped The Business Cafe will open next March and is expected to create a minimum of eight jobs.

Coffee and food will be served at The Business Café, which will also have a tie-up with a leading independent retail caterer. Workspace and tables will make it possible to hold business meetings.

As well as hospitality staff, the cafe will employ “digital friends” to train users in new technologies.

How the interior of The Business Cafe could appear once completed.

How the interior of The Business Cafe could appear once completed.

The Business Cafe is the idea of entrepreneur Penny Power, who founded Ecademy in 1998, which was the precursor to LinkedIn, and Peterborough social entrepreneur Gail Thomas.

Penny said: “The digital world can’t complete the circuit board in terms of real-time physical social experiences. You really do need both.

“This is what The Business Café is all about, having a place where business owners can network, share problems and help each other over a coffee.”

Penny will talk about The Business Cafe at Opportunity Peterborough’s bondholder breakfast on December 12.

The closing date for the crowdfunding appeal is December 20. To take part visit: Bit.ly/TBCcrowdcube