An award-winning social enterprise has closed its flagship restaurant in the middle of Leeds.
Create, famous for providing work opportunities for former rough sleepers and offenders, opened the restaurant in the summer of 2011.
Three months ago, however, Create chairman Norman Pickavance warned the business was on “a knife edge”.
And yesterday (Feb 13) Mr Pickavance confirmed details of the acclaimed King Street-based eatery’s closure to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
He also said, though, that the shutdown was only a temporary measure.
Mr Pickavance said the site was due to reopen in around six weeks after a programme of “refurbishment and refitting”.
He told the YEP it would continue to serve food but would place more emphasis on its training work.
Mr Pickavance, a former head of human resources at Yorkshire supermarket giant Morrisons, said a number of staff had been made redundant but did not specify how many.
Founded in 2007, Create’s work with people from vulnerable backgrounds has earned it praise from Prime Minister David Cameron.
Last November, however, it emerged that its main supporter, a high-net worth individual, had stopped making cash injections to the company after a change in personal circumstances.
Create’s cafe in Wakefield city centre remains open for business as usual.
TV food critic Jay Rayner has taken to Twitter to voice his dismay over developments at the Leeds restaurant.
He wrote: “Hearing gloomy news about the terrific Create in Leeds,” before adding: “Hope they can get everything sorted.”