Peterborough’s Nene Park unveil plans for new cafe and play area at Thorpe Meadows

Peterborough’s Nene Park Trust has unveiled plans to install a café, a small play area and toilet facilities in the area of land adjacent to the car park at the entrance to Thorpe Meadows.

By Ben Jones
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 4:58 am
How the new cafe could look.

These plans form part of the Nene Park Masterplan, which determines the key strategic projects for Nene Park over the next 50 years.

Following on from other recent projects such as the new play area, Fox Play, in Ferry Meadows, and the plans for the new Lakeside Activity Centre, the proposals for the café at Thorpe Meadows continue these Masterplan aims of improving the Nene Park visitor offer across the whole Park, as well as improving impact and sustainability.

Thorpe Meadows is home to Nene Park’s purpose-built rowing lake, riverside walks and many of the sculptures in Peterborough’s collection. With around 370,000 visits a year, Thorpe Meadows is a popular destination for walkers, cyclists, dog walkers and rowers. 

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How the new cafe and play area could look.

The rowing lake has been home to the Peterborough City Rowing Club since 1983 and is an active club, attracting participants of all ages and abilities. Despite the popular destination, there are currently no facilities for visitors, hence the reason for this proposed development.

Nene Park Trust is working with Iso Spaces, an award-winning innovative company that designs, manufactures and installs bespoke modular buildings from recycled shipping container units. They have come up with a low-level café design which includes some indoor seating as well an outside terrace, overlooking the play equipment. The toilet facilities will include three standard toilet cubicles and an accessible toilet with baby changing facilities.

By providing visitors to Thorpe Meadows with a place to meet friends and pick up a post-workout coffee, or just relax and enjoy the stunning setting of the rowing lake, they will be able to extend their visit to the area. 

Andrew MacDermott, Head of Development at Nene Park Trust, said: “We are excited to be working on the establishment of these new facilities, which will enable us to provide a proper welcome to visitors in this special part of the Park. The rowing lake and Thorpe Meadows are within easy walking and cycling distance of many people locally and we hope the new café, toilets and play will make this the destination of choice for many local people.”

A map of the where the cafe would be located in Thorpe Meadows.

Subject to receiving planning permission, appointment of a catering partner and final internal approvals, it is anticipated the new café will be operational in summer 2022.

If you would like to comment on the proposals, please let the Nene Park Trust team know your thoughts by completing the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/thorpe-meadows or by emailing [email protected]