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SALFORD’S FORGOTTEN ESTATE COMES BACK TO LIFE WITH NEW COMMUNITY INSPIRED CAFE
 

Star date: 9th February 2017

WHIT LANE GETS NEW CAFE FOR COMMUNITY

"Let's see if we can get this community going again..."

Whit Lane in East Salford has been branded by local kids for years as Salford's 'Forgotten Estate'; the epitome of a £53million regeneration gone horribly wrong. Even the local youth club shut down last year.

Now, Wesley Piper is about to open The Lounge Cafe, a community inspired space which will be an eaterie during the day, and then, after 3pm will transform into a milkshake bar for local young people. There's also plans to provide cheap hot meals for the elderly and loads of other ideas... "Let's see if we can get this community going again" says Wesley. 

Full details here...


Douglas Green, on the Whit Lane estate in East Salford, has, except for Mo's grocery store, seen boarded up shops for years. The old units used by CREST community centre and its accompanying community computer resource shuttered up ages ago; the Amber Project youth hut and farm was bulldozed along with rows of houses, and the place became a dumping ground for fly tippers.

As far as the £53million ten year Charlestown and Lower Kersal New Deal for Communities (NDC) scheme went, nothing showed its abject failure more than Whit Lane. Indeed, local kids branded it The Forgotten Estate and even Oliver's Youth Club, run by volunteers, closed last year (see previous Salford Star article - click here).

While houses are now finally, slowly, being built in the area, there is still literally nothing for the local kids who have had to put up with dereliction and abandonment for almost all of their childhood.  

Now, however, Wesley Piper, who grew up in the area, has, with his business partner Danny, decided to take a chance and open up The Lounge Cafe. They've been busy refurbishing the end unit on Concord Place, a former dilapidated chip shop, into a bright, homely space which will hopefully be open in the next couple of weeks. And it's going to be a 'cafe' with a difference - an eaterie during the day and a milkshake bar for youngsters from 3pm until 8:30pm.  

"I lived in Romney Street and on the 'dog track' estate, went to school here and have a lot of friends in the area" says Wesley "I'd always fancied the idea of having a cafe and thought 'Why not bring a bit of life back around here?'. I've had a few stumbles along the way and had a hard time trying to get it all pushed through but eventually I've got here.

"I've got a 15 year old daughter who sits at home in her room or will go out to McDonald's or KFC because it's warm, they've got wifi and they can plug in their phones to charge" he explains "So I thought `Why don't I do something like that around here, somewhere where they can go?'. If they're stood on the corners they are booted out, and any more than three of them and it's a gang. What are they so supposed to do? Why not come in here?

"According to the Council, youth clubs aren't needed, yet when I grew up everyone went to the youth club but there's nothing about anymore" he adds "I don't like the way that Salford is going. This isn't going to be a youth club just somewhere where they can hang out and sit with their mates in the warm, rather than standing on street corners."

Wesley hasn't had a penny of funding from anywhere, just the standard six months free rent for the hard work of absolutely gutting out the place and bringing it up to standard. However, it's community inspired and community centred. There's going to be cheap packed lunches available for pupils attending the two local schools, affordable hot meals for local elderly people delivered to their doors, and basically Wesley is open to any ideas from anyone about how the space or services can be used.

It's called The Lounge Cafe, he laughs, because "it's not a normal cafe so why give it a normal name?

"It is a real community project" he adds "Whit Lane was always one of those places with real community spirit. Let's see if we can get this community going again for Salford people..."

The Lounge Cafe will be opening within the next few weeks: 6:30am – 8:30pm.

To follow all developments see The Lounge café/milkshake bar on Facebook - click here

wrote
at 12:46:34 AM on Saturday, February 11, 2017
Well done to you all for inspiring community and working alongside the community have inspiring communities together giving you any support I doubt that very much as the money is spent on St Sebastian's And Lower Kersal centre... this clearly shows what A community project can do without support from ICT, I noticed that all inspiring communities together care for is there little secret club...all will ve revealed BE & AMP draw your pension inow as we are coming for you
 
another forgotton estate wrote
at 7:07:47 AM on Friday, February 10, 2017
God, If I had a pound for every tenant who winged "we are the forgotton estate I would be a very rich person"
 
Alice wrote
at 5:12:33 AM on Friday, February 10, 2017
Isn't this where the Inspiring Communitues money should go? It's so worthy of funds. Could the Community Committee for the area help by giving a grant out of the devolved budget. Where is the Councillor for the area giving some advice on funding!.
 
jacqueline Sparrow wrote
at 2:00:54 AM on Friday, February 10, 2017
Good luck Wesley xx
 
Norman ormrod wrote
at 2:00:50 AM on Friday, February 10, 2017
Best of luck to Wesley with the project I hope everything works out well for everybody on whitlane , I was born down whitlane in 1957 , we were moved from there in 1972 , still miss the place.
 
cheryl wrote
at 2:00:43 AM on Friday, February 10, 2017
Good luck Wes hope its a huge success. :)
 
jayne andrews wrote
at 2:55:08 PM on Thursday, February 9, 2017
This young man should be given more help from the council to get up and running A.S.A.P. perhaps they could donate some trades men to help him finish his refurbishment of the premises if they cannot give him any grants. It would be nice to see the larger companys from Salford perhaps donating some of their products to give him a good start. I too went to the youth clubs when I was young and Adelphi boys club and I hope Wesley Piper can give the young ones the same atmosphere and support these clubs gave us. Good luck with your new venture and I hope all the locals back you and take their children to your Lounge Cafe instead of the likes of MacDonalds etc
 
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