The charity board in charge of a popular Northampton tea rooms has released a statement following its decision to change the locks of the premises yesterday.
Yesterday it emerged that the board of Friends of Delapré Abbey (FoDA) had shut the cafe in the 18th Century stable house of the site two days ahead of schedule.
There had been hopes the tea rooms could have been saved after the six member board announced plans to step down.
But staff were called yesterday morning and were informed the locks to the venue had been changed and all cash moved from the site.
A statement issued on behalf of the outgoing FoDA board today states that it chose to shut up shop early because of a ‘risk assessment’.
The statement reads: “The Friends of Delapré Abbey announce with sadness that we have now closed the tea room facility at Delapré.
“We had previously announced that we were closing on the 31st of this month, however following a regular meeting between the board of trustees and Northampton Borough Council officers, it was decided to bring the closure forward to Sunday evening, March 29, 2015.
“The decision to close the tea rooms early was taken following a risk assessment relating to the closure of the tea rooms on the 31st of this month.
“FoDA wish to thank the efforts of their staff, volunteers and also loyalty of patrons regarding their understanding for the reasons for the closure, which as previously confirmed is due to commercial reasons linked to both existing profitability as well the need to relocate to another building to enable the restoration works to continue.”
“FoDA are very proud of our achievements to date and we look forward to working with the Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust and Borough Council during and subsequent to the restoration of the Abbey.
“We look forward to the opening of the Abbey to the general public for the first time in its 900 year history.
A new marquee has been erected in the walled garden area of Delapre Abbey, which the borough council has instated as a temporary refreshment facility over the summer months.