A cafe at the heart of Morecambe town centre is moving to a former pub to be part of the regeneration of Victoria Street.
The Welcome Cafe at the Arndale Centre in Morecambe closed over the weekend and will be reopening in the former Victoria Hotel, which shut several years ago.
Owners Elaine Oldfield and Cath Evans’ decision to move to ‘The Vic’ coincides with road works to improve Victoria Street and a revamp of the former Visitor building into a state-of-the-art centre for blind people, as well as a street art project.
“It’s going to be wonderful. a new start and a new chapter in our lives,” said Elaine.
“With the link road and all the work on Victoria Street, I hope it’s a new start for Morecambe.”
During their six years running the Welcome Cafe, Elaine and Cath have become renowned as charity fundraisers.
They were rewarded by Morecambe Town Council for their efforts, along with customers and friends, when they raised money to buy a life-saving defibrillator, which shocks the heart if it stops.
The defibrillator saved a woman’s life in 2014 when she collapsed in the cafe.
Elaine said: “The defibrillator will be coming with us, because our customers helped raise the money for it. It will still be local.
“Our new premises are absolutely beautiful, we will be occupying the ground floor and the biggest thing is it has toilets for men, women and disabled people.The cafe will be the same as we run it now, our customers like a proper, ordinary cafe where they can come in and have a coffee and a slice of toast.”
The Welcome Cafe will open in its new location soon.
Sarah Harrison, manager of the Arndale Centre, said: “The cafe is much loved but it was Cath and Elaine’s decision to leave.
“We are upgrading all the entrances and considering options with other retailers but nobody has signed up for the units yet.”
Sarah said she was looking into getting a new defibrillator for the Arndale Centre.