Wigan community farm to close cafe and shop amid rising costs

A community farm has announced its shop and cafe will close their doors next month.

Rising costs and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic have been blamed for the closure at Greenslate Farm in Billinge.

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A statement on social media said: “It it with great sadness that we have to announce that our cafe and shop, currently operating in the Straw Bale building. will be closing on July 18, 2022.

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"We have always tried to ensure that we provide good quality food and drink at a fair price with great service and we think you will agree that our staff are second to none.

"Due to the massive hike in energy prices and cost of living increases, coupled with the far-reaching effects of Covid, we are no longer able to maintain the cafe and shop in their current format.

"We realise that this is very upsetting for our community and we know that you will treat the staff with sensitivity and consideration during this difficult time.”

Greenslate Farm was started in 2012 by Billinge and Orrell Transition Group, which took a disused education farm and turned it into a hub for the community.

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Volunteer Dave Logan at Greenslate Farm

Since then, food has been grown there and a working farm provides volunteers, including people with special needs, the chance to learn about farming and work with animals.

Fruit and vegetables grown in the market garden and eggs from free-range hens at the farm are used in the cafe and sold in the shop.

News that the shop and cafe are to close was met with dismay by people on the farm’s Facebook page.

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Natalie Bispham said: “Oh no, I am so sorry to hear about this. This was our family’s favourite place to visit for our breakfasts at the weekend. Good luck in your next venture, whatever it may be.”

David Sherrington said: “Sad to hear, I called in yesterday for some eggs and a coffee it seemed reasonably busy. Obviously prices of energy etc are affecting them.”

Elaine Julie Best said: “What a loss to the community. I call here often with my grandchildren they love it. I really hope they can get some support and advice and stay open. Thank you to all the amazing people who work there. I will miss my visits.”