Social enterprise Squash Nutrition is preparing to open a new ‘community food hub’ with a shop and café in Liverpool.
The food, arts and environmental group says the “beautiful timber-frame building and lush food garden” will also include a small cinema and making studio, a lab for food experimentation and a community kitchen among its features.
Opening on 4 May with the name ‘Squash’, the site on Windsor Street in Liverpool 8 will welcome people from the local area as well as wider Liverpool residents and visitors to the city.
The hub has been planned and designed by 30 local people since 2014, with help from architecture practice Urbed, and now volunteers and staff are looking forward to revealing the facility, which will also provide a home for Squash Nutrition’s catering service and cooking and food growing classes.
All aspects of the building are said to have been carefully considered to achieve the greenest, most environmentally friendly structure, and materials including recycled steel, glass and newspaper have been used. Electricity for the shop and café will also be generated through rooftop solar panels.
A spokesperson for the social enterprise, which is also behind Liverpool’s Food for Real arts festival, says: “All sorts of delicious, seasonal, multicultural food will be available, with the shop selling ingredients that feature in the dishes on offer in the café.
“Visitors can take the recipes home to cook the dishes and there will be regular cooking sessions with our chef to teach the secrets to tasty, healthy food.”
Squash will be open on 4-5 May before opening from Thursday to Saturday throughout the month and then increasing to four to five days a week.
The project, which will be run by Squash Nutrition, its members and a local steering group, has been funded with the help of grants, donations and a crowdfunding campaign.
The spokesperson adds: “A group of local people put in a lot of voluntary hours to apply to Social Investment Business Fund for a grant to buy the land and build the building.
“We raised essential funds through a crowdfunder, Plunkett Foundation, Biffa, Liverpool NHS, Liverpool One Foundation, Tudor Trust, Marks and Spencer Energy Fund, Power to Change/Big Lottery and through donations from Howdens Kitchens and support from Liverpool City Council.”