Two enterprising students from New College Lanarkshire are putting their final plans in place for the opening of a catering kiosk in the new public park at Ravenscraig, after winning the opportunity to start up their own café business.
The ‘Food Lovers Café’ will be a key feature of the new public park, serving great food throughout the day in a fabulous outdoor setting for the whole community to enjoy.
The new £3.7m public park at Ravenscraig, built by North Lanarkshire Council, is scheduled to open in the summer and forms part of its plans to regenerate the former steelworks site. And competition winners, Bobbi Arnott (20) and Olivia Muir (19), both from Motherwell, are ready to serve up perfect park food for visitors and take their first steps into business.
Olivia said: “We’re really looking forward to getting started. We’ll be providing a range of food throughout the day including breakfast, lunch, hot drinks and snacks. We hope our café will be a place that everyone visiting the park can enjoy, whether they’re coming to play sport, attend an event, visit the play area, meet friends and family or just sit and relax.”
Bobbi added: “We can’t wait to be part of this fantastic new park and play our part in making the area a hive of community activity. We’re really excited to have this opportunity to serve great food in such a lovely setting, while gaining first-hand experience of operating and running our own catering business. We hope people will come and say hello and sample the food we have on offer. The whole process has been a fantastic opportunity.
“We have both been working so hard to get to where we are now. We are so excited to get started and continue this new adventure.”
Bobbi and Olivia’s catering plans became reality after their competition success, which was run by the council and New College Lanarkshire, in partnership with Business Gateway Lanarkshire, Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) and North Lanarkshire Properties, for students to win the use of a hub kiosk situated in the new Ravenscraig park.
Professor Christopher Moore, Principal and Chief Executive of New College Lanarkshire, added: “Bobbi and Olivia are a real credit to New College Lanarkshire. I wish them all the very best in their new venture and hope their entrepreneurial spirit will be an inspiration to others at the college.”
Jonathan Speed, Senior Project Manager at North Lanarkshire Council, said: “There’s lots of excitement building as we move closer to the park officially opening. It’s been an amazing project to be part of and we hope the park will be hugely popular with local people.
“It offers so many new opportunities for play and recreation, sports and leisure for people of all ages and for families and communities to enjoy a high-quality green environment. And having on-site catering will add to the overall park experience and provide a welcome pit-stop and opportunity for people to sit, relax and spend some time taking in everything the park has to offer.
“I hope Olivia and Bobbi enjoy their first steps into business.”
In addition to the kiosk there is a new play area, sensory garden, disabled toilet, an events area, a network of walking and cycling routes, a multi sports pitch and an outdoor gym. A feature path is also being created along the line of the historic steel strip mill, and seating areas will be located throughout the park.
The business start-up opportunity has been made possible through projects funded by the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund and Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.