Community investment brought to life with new coffee shop in Berkeley Green

Community investment brought to life with new coffee shop in Berkeley Green

The Berkeley and Oldbury Interserve teams at Magnox first came across a derelict outbuilding on the South Gloucestershire and Stroud (SGS) College site in September 2015. The building was fit for demolishing but the visionary team saw an opportunity to invest time, energy and skills to transform it into a coffee shop at the entrance to the new Science & Technology Park.

The coffee shop provides a new business opportunity serving onsite contractors and future students who will arrive in the area when the new SGS campus building opens in September 2016.

Building blocks of a vision

After spotting the derelict building the team developed a partnership that saw them take on a 3-year lease for the coffee shop to help SGS turn their vision for Berkeley Green into a reality. They called upon the skills of a designer to develop drawings, began searching for materials and putting together a project plan.

The project brought the Interserve values to life, with the team of 14 showing innovation, teamwork, a sustainable mind-set and passion! It demonstrated what can be achieved with hard work and perseverance, and provided a place for contractors, staff and students to meet, socialise and drink great coffee.

Investing time and skills

Work completed on site in February 2016 with the full skillset of the team being used. There were 28 volunteering days invested in the refurbishment work – including electrics, plumbing, asbestos removal, roofing, painting & decorating and furniture assembly.

To carry out a project of this size, while still doing the day job, required a huge amount of effort, planning and commitment from those involved.

New skills and opportunities

The creation of the ‘The Workshop’ @D31 also provides new job and training opportunities, with the Berkeley site taking on Jack as its first catering apprentice and Ali as the coffee shop manager.

Jack is studying a Level 2 Intermediate apprenticeship in food service through Interserve Learning & Employment. Aged 17, Jack has ambitions to become a chef and in addition to learning the skills of a barista, will be employed in the contract’s kitchens onsite.

Ali began her career with Interserve in the reprographics department at Oldbury Power Station. The coffee shop provides the opportunity to take on running a new business and develop management skills.

Sourcing great coffee

At the opening of ‘The Workshop’ @D31 in February 2016 ‘Paddy & Scott’s’ coffee brand were on hand to provide training on creating the perfect coffee and share the history and story of the ethically sourced beans, blended and roasted in the UK that will be served @D31.

Facts-and-statsUpcycling furniture

‘The Workshop’ has been created using upcycled materials and equipment from the original workshop at Berkeley Power Station. This included scaffold boards and poles to create tables, coffee bags to upholster soft furnishings, recycled furniture, kitchen units and signage which the team of craftsmen skilfully refurbished to create an industrial themed space.

Looking to the future

The Interserve team has supported facilities at Berkeley Green for the last three years and is committed to being part of the vision for SGS in the area. The collaborative working relationship with the college and partnership approach to developing new business opportunities is aligned to Interserve’s vision 2020.

The team, led by the inspirational Jo Davies and visionary David Johnston, is creating a lasting legacy for the community around Berkeley and the SGS campus that will benefit local people for many years to come.












Laura Spiers

Laura Spiers is Interserve’s Group Sustainability Manager. She is tasked with making the Interserve SustainAbilities plan a reality and brings a range of experience working in-house and as a consultant for a range of public and private organisations across sustainability topics.

  • ChijiUzochukwu

    Hi Laura,am researching on social enterprise and have read your article which is very inspiring,can it be right to say that this venture is a type of social enterprise?