Kentish Express Ashford & District

New cycling cafe planned for village

- By Charlie Harman charman@thekmgroup.co.uk

Plans have been revealed for a cycling cafe which hopes to attract businesses and visitors to a village.

The Hub would be set up alongside the River Stour on the former Poynters Coaches depot in Wye – a site that is already owned by one of the venture’s co-founders.

Offering up the land is Jez Smith and fellow cycling enthusiast­s Matt Hayday and Keith Owen, who believe it is the perfect spot for a stop.

Using old shipping containers as the structures, the Wye and Boughton Aluph residents hope small startups will be able to set up shop in additional containers alongside the main cafe.

The plans for the Churchfiel­d Way spot have been prepared by OSG Architectu­re, whose director is co-founder Mr Owen.

Mr Hayday, 45, owned a successful London tech firm, but has experience in the bike industry having previously run a chain of cycle shops.

He says the trio want the proposal to be a force for good in the village.

He said: “There are other businesses which sell things and serve food and drinks in Wye, and our intentions aren’t to be taking business away from them.

“We want to bring more people to the village in a sustainabl­e way – any business that sells things we don’t sell, we’d strongly recommend those other places to our customers.

“While everyone will be welcome, we want to aim the business at the cycling clientele.”

Initially, only high-quality cakes and coffees would be sold as well as bike essentials such as inner tubes and brake cables. The offering could be expanded per popular request.

Cycling cafes have become increasing­ly popular and, according to the team’s feedback, many of Kent’s cycle groups say Wye would be an ideal place as a midway point between Tonbridge and Bridge’s Independen­t Pedaler.

Mr Hayday was quick to note they aren’t aiming to rival the popular bike cafe, saying: “An important message here is that I don’t see Kent’s other sites as competitio­n.

“They are far enough away that the cafes act as a complement­ary network to each other.”

The team also want to focus on sustainabi­lity, reusing old containers and not having to dig deep foundation­s and fill them with concrete.

They believe this ties into the continuing promotion of cycling as a sustainabl­e mode of transport.

Employment will also be a main aim, as Mr Hayday wants younger staff to get a similar experience to what he had in the cycling industry.

■ Visit www.hubwye.com for more details.

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 ??  ?? The ex-bus depot site is close to The Tickled Trout pub and Wye railway station; the team behind the plan says it is an ideal location for cyclists
The ex-bus depot site is close to The Tickled Trout pub and Wye railway station; the team behind the plan says it is an ideal location for cyclists
 ??  ?? A planning applicatio­n is yet to be submitted but bosses want to use old shipping containers as the structure
A planning applicatio­n is yet to be submitted but bosses want to use old shipping containers as the structure
 ??  ?? The former Poynters Coaches depot off Churchfiel­d Way, Wye, could become a cycling cafe
The former Poynters Coaches depot off Churchfiel­d Way, Wye, could become a cycling cafe
 ??  ?? How one of the containers could look
How one of the containers could look

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