A short while ago RCT Council announced they were revamping the café at the Rhondda Heritage Park and creating a traditional Italian café reminiscent of those that were at one time to be found in towns and villages across the area.
They spent £500,000 on the revamp of the Park and café and put out a press release saying that they were looking for someone to run it and that it would be a great opportunity for anyone in catering looking to start a new business.
Councillor Joy Rosser, RCT cabinet member for prosperity, wellbeing and communities, said:
"The council is providing a rare but real opportunity for chefs or caterers with ambition to establish themselves at our venue, which attracts thousands of visitors all year around. It may also be an ideal opportunity for a newly-qualified chef or caterer to make their mark and follow their dream of running their own café as part of the Rhondda Heritage Park brand."
This week they have announced the opening of the café. However rather than giving an opportunity to a new starter the Council have awarded the contract to the company that runs the Lido café, Just Perfect Catering.
No disrespect to Just Perfect, but they are an established "events" caterer. They describe themselves in their website as " a leading independent contract caterer specialising in high quality catering services for Blue Chip Companies, TV & Film, Visitor Attractions, Extra Care Schemes and Events." In addition ot the Lido they run concessions at the Doctor Who Experience, Garwnant in Merthyr and the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl.
This is hardly giving a chance to an up and coming businessman / woman as their initial advertisement suggested, and it does not seem to be altogether in the tradition of the family run Italian cafes that were so well loved and fondly remembered.