Welland Park café enters exciting new era

Published Tuesday 18 August 2015

The café in popular Welland Park in Market Harborough is taking an exciting new direction when it re-launches next week.

Roy Shortland

The café, situated in the picturesque family park, will re-open on Monday 24 August – and at the helm will be Roy Shortland who brings with him experience of working in a top 2 Michelin star restaurant.

Earlier this year Harborough District Council, which owns Welland Park, invited people to come forward and run the café, after the previous operators moved on.

The council received an overwhelming response during the tender process before selecting a café operator over the summer.

Roy (pictured), who lives in the town, worked for a major food producer in the area before setting up his own catering business 10 years ago. He also teaches at a local cookery school.

Previously he’d spent several years in the hotel and restaurant trade, including time as head pastry chef at the 2 Michelin star restaurant Nico Ladenis in London.

Roy said: “It has always been a dream of mine to run my own café and when the opportunity of the park café became available I could not resist. Being a local resident I have often used the facilities the park has to offer and am aware of the importance it plays in the community. I feel with my experience and the support of the people in the area I can make a thriving business out of the café, offering freshly made food and drink in pleasant surroundings."

The award-winning Welland Park is the largest recreation ground in Market Harborough and offers visitors a range of sights, activities, events and attractions including tennis courts, rugby posts, skate park, social fitness zone, designated dog walk area, Saturday morning parkruns, rose garden, sensory garden, and bowling greens.

It also has public toilets and two car parks.

Roy added: “I look forward to welcoming customers old and new so please come and say hello, and see what we have to offer.”

Cllr Phil King, who has responsibility for Harborough District Council assets, said: “This is an exciting new era for the café. The park is one of the jewels in the crown in this district and I am sure visitors to the park will enjoy the opportunity to stop off at the café for a drink and good food.”