Worksop: Big plans for alfresco dining at Aurora cancer support centre

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Al fresco dining could come to Worksop’s picturesque memorial gardens as part of a revamp to the old Central Library - now Aurora Wellbeing Centre.

If approved by Bassetlaw Council, the open air eaterie could be accommodating customers within 18 months.

The move would see Valerie’s Tearooms, which currently occupies the central space in the listed art deco building, expand and shift towards the back of the centre, with French doors opening out onto the terrace.

A further schedule of sensitive renovations has also been revealed for the rest of the building, in keeping with its 1930s architecture and position within a conservation area.

But it could cost around £1 million in total and is dependant on a successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

The iconic building on Memorial Avenue is owned by Bassetlaw Council and leased to Aurora on a peppercorn rent.

The centre provides information, advice, support and therapy for people with cancer, their carers, and the wider community.

Work has been going on behind the scenes for several years now, transforming the much-loved former library into a haven for health and wellbeing.

“From the start we always had a plan to renovate the building and we knew it would cost a lot of money,” centre manager Debra Fores said.

“We’ve made the place look nice with the limited funds we’ve had - just a lick of paint here or there - but our focus has been on getting services up and running so we can support the people who need us.”

“We now have the tearooms, charity shop and beauty salon fully open. We have a new Macmillan Hub where people can get information about cancer diagnosis and the support available to them.”

“We welcome craft stall holders in every Wednesday to sell their items.”

“We have yoga and pilates classes, acupuncture and even a gentle gym.”

But the ambitious renovation plan focuses on creating a long term use for the much-loved building.

Part of the new plan includes a heritage studio which would be created in partnership with Bassetlaw Museum, Heritage Lottery Fund and local education providers.

Said Debra: “It’s important that heritage and conservation play a part in our plans.”

“It’s fantastic to see people coming through our doors and benefiting from the facilities we offer.”

“But we also get people coming in to have a look round because they remember the building’s former use. It’s lovely.”

For more information contact Aurora on 01909 470985 or visit




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