Northern Ireland news

Park coffee station site unoccupied throughout July following controversial tender decision

A council spokeswoman confirmed a new vendor `has now been appointed, having scored the highest in the procurement exercise'

A COFFEE station at the centre of a controversial decision to end the contract with the original operators will not now be open until next month.

Claire and Jim Mallon of Works Coffee Roasters food and drinks cart said they only had "days" notice that their Waterworks Park contract ended in June - and with it their "main income".

The couple received a groundswell of support from customers dismayed at their departure - following six years - from the north Belfast park after another operator beat their tender.

Last weekend, park users noted on social media that the site remained empty, despite the new cart expected to be in situ.

Social Distancing and one way markers are put down at Belfast Waterworks park as part of the first steps to ease lockdown. Picture by Hugh Russell

However, a council spokesman explained the new contract does not begin until August.

"Following a procurement exercise, the new catering contract at the Waterworks site will commence on 1 August 2021.

"While an extension to the contract of the previous caterer was offered to cover July 2021, as that offer was declined there will be an interruption to service during the July period."

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Northern Ireland news