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Plans to turn the Old Signal Box at Folkestone's Harbour Station into cafe

The Old Signal Box at Folkestone's harbour station could be turned into a cafe, pending planning approval.

The application has been submitted to Folkestone and Hythe District Council from the Folkestone Harbour & Seafront Development Company (FHSDC), who are behind the renovation of the harbour station.

The new eatery would be part of FHSDC’s seafront masterplan, which includes shops, cafés, bars and 1,000 new homes along the town's front.

The Old Signal Box could be transformed into a cafe (8187986)
The Old Signal Box could be transformed into a cafe (8187986)

The documents, put together by the architectural department at Martello Building Consultancy, reveal no amendments to the building are planned, and instead the cafe would operate from the existing structure.

Very little is expected to change internally; the original signalling equipment will remain and the seating and serving area will fit around it.

Around eight seats will fill the space inside, while outdoor seating could be set up in warmer weather.

Light refreshments such as coffees, teas, soft drinks, biscuits and sandwiches are expected to be on offer, plus take-away drinks.

If approved it is hoped the cafe would employee four members of staff, two full time and two part time.

Proposed trading hours are 8am-6pm in spring and autumn, 8am-9pm in the summer and 8am-4pm in the winter.

The planning document reads: "The proposals will provide direct employee as well as increasing people traffic locally thus providing additional trade to other areas in Folkestone."

The Old Signal Box, which sits close to the old railway track at Folkestone Harbour, has recently been restored by the FHSDC. They are now looking for a vendor to take over the space.

A spokesman for Folkestone Harbour Arm said: "The Signal Box has been lovingly restored and is located at a prime location as you enter the newly restored Folkestone Harbour Station.

"The building is a truly unique and quirky space where the heritage signal levers that once switched the train tracks are still part of the fabric of the building.

"Work is being undertaken to create a basement space for a kitchen to service the building with plans for alfresco dinning on the station platform.

"We are looking for a distinctive new food and drink offer that isn’t already available on the Arm and makes the most of this historic building and picturesque location."

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