New life is being breathed back into a disused space at Taunton Library with the opening of the Bold & Brave Café – thanks to a partnership with Somerset Council.
Young Somerset is behind the project, having successfully launched the Bold & Brave shop in Taunton almost two years ago.
The café will take up community space in the library and will open on Wednesday 7 June. Ten days later, on 17 June, Bake Off star and former local head teacher Val Stones will join café staff, partners and residents to celebrate the café at a special event.
The Bold & Brave enterprise began with the shop in Taunton’s Independent Quarter which has been a community hub for young people since its opening in October 2021.
The shop sells quality, handmade (by young people) and locally sourced gifts, whilst supporting young people of Somerset to create their own products, develop their businesses, host workshops, and meet community partners. Over the last 18 months the shop has supported 30 young entrepreneurs to sell their products and hosted almost 40 young people on work experience, many of whom were not in education, employment, or training.
Now, an agreement has been reached with Somerset Council for Bold & Brave to expand and take on the running of the café at Taunton Library. The café will provide reasonably priced a range of refreshments and also enable Young Somerset to offer more opportunities, training, and qualifications to local young people.
The café is also teaming up with local suppliers such as Brazier Coffee Roaster from Wellington and Dough Bakers in Taunton, to provide quality, local food, and drinks.
Nik Harwood, Chief Executive of Young Somerset, said:
I am delighted that we are reopening the café in Taunton Library under the remit of our Bold & Brave Enterprise work. This will both serve a community need and support young people to gain core skills – confidence, communication, teamwork – as well as specific employability skills related to customer service and hospitality. This is an exciting partnership with Somerset Council which will develop into the future.
Councillor Federica Smith-Roberts, Lead Member for Communities, Housing and Culture, said:
This is an imaginative and creative way of supporting Somerset’s young people learn new skills while improving the offer for library users.
It is great that this disused area at Taunton Library is being brought back into a truly community space that everyone can enjoy.