Café at Leavesden Country Park set for expansion

Press ReleaseUpdated: 14 March 2024Leisure, parks and culture

A much-loved café at Leavesden Country Park is set to be expanded with increased seating capacity thanks to a major council funding boost.

Three Rivers District Council approved allocating One YMCA £60,000 earlier this week to jointly fund the expansion of the Woodlands Cafe at Leavesden Country Park into the now closed part of the building that was formally the Cycle Hub. The council owns the building but leases it to One YMCA.

The building had been split with Woodlands Café with space for 28 seated customers, and the other half was Cycle Hub until last summer.

The One YMCA plans to remove part of the wall between the two sides of the building to create a larger single space to add more than 46 new seats as well as two large table areas and a long desk for single workspace provision to increase the café capacity to more than 70.

The additional toilet in the space will add to the capacity of the park, while an extra drink service area will also be added to help cope with certain busy times such as Park Run. The new space will also have the flexibility to be used for private hire/community events at non-peak times as well as provide training and employment opportunities for young people and residents of One YMCA hostels.

It is estimated that the work will cost more than £118,000. One YMCA has the funds to carry out the works but has a shortfall of £60,000.

Members approved to use money held for the improvement and maintenance  of the Country Park alongside monies from its UK Shared Prosperity Fund, making a total of £60,000

Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Deputy Leader of Three Rivers District Council and Lead Member for Economic Development, said: “I am pleased that with Three Rivers District Council's help and support this fantastic project to  expand this much used and valued café and community facility and help One YMCA  who provide much need training to young adults in need can go ahead thanks to this funding from the council.

“Woodlands Café is a valuable community asset and is very busy during peak hours with residents wanting a nice refreshment or snack when they visit Leavesden Country Park.

“Using the unutilised space, which was previously used by Leavesden Cycle Hub, is a great way to increase capacity to meet demand as well as create flexible space for the building to hold private and community events.”