Former pub to be transformed into cafe and play scheme

Dean and Louise Buckingham at the former Old Crown Inn.
Dean and Louise Buckingham at the former Old Crown Inn.

The ground floor of a former pub is being transformed into a cafe and meeting place for parents and young children.

Dean and Louise Buckingham are carrying out a refurbishment of part of the Old Crown Inn on Barnsley Road, South Kirkby, to turn it into the Sticky Bun Cafe.

Mr Buckingham said that, subject to permission from council planners, the new cafe and play area would offer a much-needed facility for parents.

The dad-of-two said: “It’s going to be a coffee shop aimed at parents and carers who can bring young children along.

“It will be a comfortable and safe environment where people won’t have to worry about young children being knocked over by older ones.

“We have two young children ourselves, aged three and six months, and we noticed there wasn’t a great deal of this kind of thing around.”

The upstairs of the former pub, which closed in 2012, has already been redeveloped into flats.

Mr Buckingham said building work to convert the ground floor into a child-friendly space was progressing well.

He said: “We are going to have a sensory room and a sensory wall.

“It will be a dark room with lights and fabrics that children can enjoy.

“The building is in a really good spot and we only live ten minutes away.

“There is nothing else like it around here and there is a large population of children aged under six here.

“It’s going to be good for the community and bring people to South Kirkby.”

The new business is expected to create four jobs with two of them full-time and two part-time.

A report to Wakefield Council’s planning department said “The play cafe will have a positive effect on the area, bringing in custom from Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Wakefield and Leeds.

“It will boost the economy by attracting people to the area, who may then in turn use the local amenities and visit other businesses.”

“It will also aid the regeneration of the local area by utilising an empty building, improving the surroundings for residents and other businesses alike.”

A decision on the planning application is expected tomorrow, Mr Buckingham added.