The award-winning park is entering the final stages of work of a £2.5 million Heritage Lottery funded restoration including the new café and training centre, alongside a restored bandstand, toilets and extensive landscaping.
Now Stafford Borough Council has announced that the team behind ‘The Great British Drive In’ are to run the food and drink operation when the park reopens later this month – and it will be known as ‘Alberts Cafe’ in homage to Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.
The Stone-based company brought the ‘Great British Drive In Festival of Film, Live Comedy and Fine Street Food’ to Sandon Hall for a summer stint from July to August, with an extension now into November.
Plans are in the pipeline to introduce events and activities as part of the café operation.
The borough council was successful in securing over £1.7 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to carry out the work. The park is more than 100 years old and has been awarded the ‘Green Flag’ as one of the best parks and open spaces in the country since 2007.
Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, cabinet member for leisure, said: “We are really pleased to announce the team behind The Great British Drive In as the company to take forward this fantastic new café. They will bring more to the park than just running a food and drink operation.
“The new eatery complements the fantastic restoration that has been carried out on the historic elements of the park and I’m really looking forward to the work being completed.
Councillor Trowbridge, described the park as the “jewel in the crown for the county town” and added: “Thank you to all those who gave feedback as part of the consultation, which has helped shape the park, and everyone who has worked on this exciting project.”
Craig Wilkinson, from The Great British Drive In, said: “We are delighted to be launching Alberts Cafe and reopening the park. The restoration is magnificent, there is something for everyone and it is such a beautiful, tranquil space in the middle of our county town for all to enjoy. We are really looking forward to working even more with our local community, producing events in the park and providing quality, locally-sourced food and beverages.”