Published: 11:26, 11 May 2022
| Updated: 15:54, 11 May 2022
A new cycling cafe made from reclaimed shipping containers is hoping to open this summer, bosses have confirmed.
The Hub is being built alongside the River Stour on the former Poynters Coaches depot in Churchfield Way in Wye.
The idea was brought about three years ago by cycling enthusiasts Jez Smith, Matt Hayday and Keith Owen who shared a vision of creating the perfect place to stop on a cycle route in the village.
Plans were approved in August and the ground was levelled over Easter ready for the first two containers which will be placed later this month.
They will sit side-by-side but slightly offset.
The front will be a seating area and the back will house the cafe, kitchen and the toilets.
A third container, which will hold more seating, will sit opposite the cafe leaving room for a courtyard in the middle but this will not arrive until later in the year.
Alice Hall, communications manager at The Hub said: "We want to create a sheltered courtyard area between the containers so we’ll have the cafe on one side, and more seating on the other.
"At the moment we’re drawing up plans on how we want the layout on the inside.
"It is a cycling cafe but it's also for walkers, for people who just want to meet socially, and parents who want to meet before or after school so having it accessible to everybody is really important to us.
"I think it will take a couple of months to kit it all out and we’re aiming for a late summer opening."
Initially, cakes and coffees will be sold alongside bike essentials but the offering could be expanded if there is a demand.
The team hope to repurpose as much furniture as they can to make the site as sustainable as possible.
Chairs at risk of being thrown away have been saved and are one of many recycled items that will be used inside.
There are also plans to enhance planting on the river bank improving the biodiversity of the area, and using green walls to soften views.
If it is a success, the owners, who live in Wye and Boughton Aluph, hope other small start-ups will decide to set up shop in additional containers alongside the main cafe.
Cycling cafes have become increasingly popular in recent years and, according to the team’s feedback, many of Kent’s cycle groups say Wye would be an ideal place for a pit-stop while out exploring the county's countryside on two wheels.
Those behind the cafe are now looking for local suppliers and are keen to hear from anybody who might want to help or offer feedback.
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