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Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes closes Café 1809 Active at Cyclopark, Gravesend

An Olympic gold medallist has announced she is closing her café at an outdoor multi-sports centre just three months after its grand opening. 

Dame Kelly Holmes opened Café 1809 Active at Cyclopark, Gravesend, on Tuesday, June 6. 

School children and other special guests were invited to the grand opening, which was attended by Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Harold Craske. 

Dame Kelly serves Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Harold Craske at the opening of the cafe in June. Picture John Westhrop

Dame Kelly serves Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Harold Craske at the opening of the cafe in June. Picture: John Westhrop

Dame Kelly, who won two gold medals for running in Athens in 2004, led exercise classes for youngsters from Saint George's School - inside the centre rather than on the track due to heavy rain - and everyone was treated to free drinks and snacks. 

But today the retired British middle distance athlete announced the café will close this weekend with Sunday being the last trading day. 

Dame Kelly Holmes only opened the cafe in June. Picture John Westhrop

Dame Kelly Holmes only opened the cafe in June. Picture: John Westhrop

In a statement sent to KentOnline's sister paper the Gravesend Messenger this evening, Dame Kelly said: "It is a shame that Café 1809 Active at Cyclopark has not worked out, however we pride ourselves on our flagship Café 1809 in Hildenborough that has been open nearly three years and thank all our customers that have supported our brand.

“We would like to thank everyone at Cyclopark for giving us the opportunity to try Café 1809 Active there and wish them every success for the future.”

The café owner's PR team said it had been a difficult decision for her. 

Dame Kelly Holmes with Shaun Fennings, Cafe 1809 Active operations manager, and Joe Drake, cafe assistant. Picture John Westhrop

Dame Kelly Holmes with Shaun Fennings, Cafe 1809 Active operations manager, and Joe Drake, cafe assistant. Picture: John Westhrop

Alex Flint, chief executive at Cyclopark, off Wrotham Road, said: "We are of course disappointed that the Café 1809 Active is closing, but respect their decision.

“Outside of the unfortunate exit of Café 1809, Cyclopark has had an exceptional first six months of operations in 2017 and the charity trust is growing rapidly in every regard. 

"We are now working quickly to establish a new convenience-based sporting café that meets the specific needs of our valued Cyclopark community.” 

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