Hopes high for new community space following closure of La Tour Cycle cafe

PUBLISHED: 19:00 09 January 2020

La Tour Cycle Cafe has closed on the Waterfront - but will the spirit live on in a new community venue? Picture: ARCHANT

La Tour Cycle Cafe has closed on the Waterfront - but will the spirit live on in a new community venue? Picture: ARCHANT


It is hoped the spirit and vision of popular Ipswich community venue La Tour Cafe will live on with the creation of a new arts venue, music arena or youth space following its permanent closure.

It was announced last October that La Tour Cycle Cafe on Ipswich's Waterfront would not be re-opening after a temporary closure.

At the time, co-founder Anna Matthews described having taken the decision with "a heavy heart". Her husband Cliff, with whom she founded the business, died from cancer in March 2019.

As patrons mourned the loss of the cafe, a call went out for the spirit of the community-focused cafe to live on in a new venture in Ipswich and there were early meetings about how this could happen.

Now a meeting is scheduled for the end of the month to continue discussions into a future space.

"There were a lot of people in the first meeting," said Alice Sandon, participation producer at Pacitti Company.

"Over 50 people came. People with good intentions.

"They were asking: what should it look like? What will it be used for?

"People were really engaged with it."

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The Pacitti Company is an arts charity that runs the Think Tank building next door to Ipswich Museum. The venue offers classes and workshops and is available for hire, and it has hosted the project meetings to date.

So far the group behind the plans have been considering a number of options both in the short and long term, in order to bring their vision for a community space that offers something for everyone.

"There are lots of hopes for an arts space and a youth space," said Miss Sandon.

"There was also talk about having a small music venue.

"There is a lack of space for that."

They are looking at the potential of using a smaller venue, possibly an empty shop, for a number of weeks or months before building up to a larger space with more opportunities.

Other possibilities have included pop-up shops in the town centre.

"It's just been very organic, a very organic process," said Miss Sandon.

"People are really passionate and interested in it."

A further meeting is set to take place at the Pacitti Company Think Tank on Wednesday, January 22.

The meeting will be held from 11am to 1pm.

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