‘Costa-style’ café with outdoor seating planned for school’s heritage centre

The Royal Hospital School, in Holbrook, from the air Picture: MIKE PAGE

The Royal Hospital School, in Holbrook, from the air Picture: MIKE PAGE

A modern coffee shop could open at the Royal Hospital School’s Grade II listed heritage centre if new proposals are given the green light.

Bosses at the independent school, in Holbrook, want to convert the facility into a ‘Costa-style’ café with some external seating areas.

Aimed at providing a social space used by parents and students, the new coffee shop would serve hot and cold drinks – plus a small selection of salads, sandwiches and hot snacks.

Items currently stored in the heritage centre would move into the reception hall, with existing interior walls being demolished to provide a small kitchen and indoor and outdoor seating areas.

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In a planning application to Babergh District Council, school bosses wrote: “The intention of the school is to relocate some of the current heritage centre items into the reception hall and convert the heritage centre into a café, with some external seating.

“The café would be a ‘Costa style’ place with hot and cold drinks served, limited choice of hot meals, i.e. paninis, sausage rolls etc. but no cooking facilities, and a variety of cold salads and sandwiches.

“The kitchen would therefore be more of a coffee shop style.”

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The cafe’s walls will retain existing exposed brickwork and the ceilings will be painted black to create a “relaxing, mysterious and slightly majestic atmosphere”.

Its roof is also set to be replaced as part of the demolition work.

In their planning statement, school chiefs also outlined proposals to revamp the current conference centre.

Refurbishment works would add new ceilings and lighting to the centre, with the aim of creating a “bright and modern showcase space”.

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New furniture would also be added, providing a “functional, comfortable and professional” environment for up to 26 people.

During term time, the Royal Hospital School takes on day pupils and boarders aged from 11 to 18.

It is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, with design and technology teachers recently joining the national effort by making protective face shields for NHS staff.

The application will go before Babergh District Council planners in due course.

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