The Mill’s hopes to become hub of community events

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St Catherine’s Hospice has announced exciting plans to open up its beautiful grounds to host more public and family events, helping to raise further funds to provide its specialised care in the local community.

The charity, based in Lostock Hall, has been granted a permanent live music and alcohol licence to establish the hospice grounds – including its summer marquee and The Mill café and community hub – as an attractive place for special events such as wedding anniversaries and birthday celebrations.

The idea could also see the popular Mill used for a host of fundraising social events, including acoustic music nights and themed food evenings.

Commercial catering manager Nicola Hanmer said: “It’s a very exciting time here at St Catherine’s. Since we launched The Mill as a social enterprise 18 months ago, with all the profits going directly to the hospice, we’ve really seen the benefit of opening up the grounds to the public and letting people see for themselves what a wonderful place St Catherine’s is.

“We’re keen to keep coming up with new ideas to bring more visitors in, and offer our supporters something a bit different to look forward to, so this is the next step in our on-going ambition to secure St Catherine’s in the heart of the community.”

The licence also means that the charity will no longer have to apply for temporary events notices when hosting its series of annual fundraisers, such as the Summer Ball – taking place this year on June 11.

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It will also present more opportunities for families to meet and celebrate their personal milestones, or remember loved ones.

“People are enquiring about utilising The Mill more than ever before for special occasions,” Nicola explained. “We have recently hosted a baby shower, had a number of birthday celebrations and a golden wedding anniversary. We also have some businesses which are using the rooms upstairs for meetings and conferences.

“People are interested in coming to St Catherine’s for celebrations such as family parties, but also for more poignant ceremonies, such as funeral receptions.”

And the success of café itself is also set to flourish under the new proposals.

Nicola added: “The café is very popular and it’s always so busy. Our St Catherine’s blend coffee is a particular favourite with customers coming in to enjoy our homemade cakes and desserts.

“Some people also like the idea of enjoying a glass of wine with lunch, so offering that could really boost our income – at the same time as keeping customers happy.

“We recently opened the café in the evening for the first time for a Tapas Night, followed by a French cuisine evening, which were both huge successes.

“Our next themed night will specialise in Mediterranean food on June 24, followed by seafood specials on July 29.”

– To hire The Mill for your special occasion or to book a table at one of the themed nights, call 01772 695277 or email themill@stcatherinespark.co.uk.

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