The operator of a café and community space at Market Place in Prescot is planning a “range of events” for the new venue.
Husband and wife duo Francesco and Gaynor La Rocca have been chosen to run the new premises by Knowlsey Council.
The café and community space is being developed as part of the £500,000 transformation of Market Place being delivered through the Prescot Townscape Heritage Initiative.
The appointment follows a tender process earlier this year when Knowsley Council asked for bids from interested community groups or companies who could offer a high quality food and drink provision within the new café and bring the area to life with community activities and events.
Gaynor is the artistic director and CEO of Prescot based MATE Productions and Francesco, a property lawyer with Weightmans LLP, is also an actor with MATE Productions with a “huge passion” for food.
For the new venture at Market Place, Gaynor and Francesco will be supported by family with experience of running successful restaurants.
Her father-in-law, Filadelo La Rocca owned and ran a number of successful restaurants and cafes in Prescot, Rainhill and Widnes and opened Rocco’s an Italian restaurant on Eccleston Street in Prescot in the late 1970s.
He has recently relocated back to the UK and will bring his many years of catering experience to support the initial set up and running of the café.
Gaynor says: “Francesco and I are overjoyed to be given this opportunity. We already have a long-standing relationship with Prescot which we consider to be our home. Our vision is to create a community cafe, a meeting place for friends, a centre for activity, entertainment and conversation in the heart of Prescot.
“We plan to host a range of events, including comedy nights, poetry evenings, film nights, book clubs, arts and craft clubs, parents and toddler groups and in the outside space there is potential for open air cinema, markets, pop up performances, Christmas events, summer events – the possibilities are only limited by imagination.”
Work on the new look Market Place will start in April and is expected to be occupied by Gaynor and Francesco by September 2018.
Armitage Construction Ltd has been appointed as contractor for the scheme.