Blackburn’s Cathedral Quarter to welcome celebrity chef’s new venture

18 March 2016

The team behind Northcote, the Michelin starred restaurant and luxury hotel, are to open a café in Blackburn Cathedral’s iconic £8.5m Cathedral Court Building which forms part of the new £30 million Cathedral Quarter development.

Celebrity chef Nigel Haworth and business partner Craig Bancroft are behind the venture called Café Northcote that it is hoped will see thousands of visitors flocking to the new high quality development.

The 78 cover café is in the new Cathedral building facing into Cathedral Square, will see around 15 jobs created along with two apprentice posts and where possible it is intended that those recruited will be local people.

In addition, there will be a partnership with Blackburn College for work placements and training opportunities.

The eatery will be the jewel in the crown of Cathedral Court, where accommodation is being provided for cathedral staff in what is the first new complete set of Cathedral domestic buildings to be built for 600 years. 

The building which is nearing completion will provide offices, conference rooms and a library surrounding a landscaped cloister garth as well as the newly named ‘Walsingham Hall’ from which Café Northcote will look out on to the large square built for large events and festivals.

It is intended that the project in partnership with Blackburn Cathedral and backed by both Blackburn with Darwen Council and Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will be a ‘beacon for the best of Lancashire’ and focus on local food, craftsmanship, creativity and artisanship.

Northcote recently won the UK's Best Restaurant outside London in the Food & Travel Reader Awards and also Lancashire Life’s Hotel Restaurant of the Year.

Their luxury hotel and restaurant attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK to the outskirts of Blackburn every year.

Nigel Haworth, Northcote, said: “We are delighted to finally be working in partnership with Lancashire’s cathedral to create a new and vibrant café concept, championing local produce and Blackburn’s heritage. We look forward to new exciting times expanding the Northcote brand into Blackburn and being part of bringing this incredible Cathedral Quarter development to life.”

The Very Reverend Christopher Armstrong, Dean of Blackburn, said:  “Hospitality has been and continues to be central to the Cathedrals ministry. This new partnership with Northcote shows a commitment to excellence and will make the Cathedral even more attractive as a destination for visitors throughout the region and beyond”.

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Councillor Phil Riley, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Northcote will be opening this fantastic new venture in Blackburn. We think it will be a perfect fit for the Cathedral Quarter development where we’ve always aimed to make sure that it is of the highest quality, modern and welcoming.” 
“What is more it will make the town a real destination and bring in more people to see how Blackburn is changing and the massive amount of regeneration and investment that’s taking place.

Edwin Booth, Chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership said: "One of Lancashire's greatest strengths is in its quality food and drink offer and the Northcote brand is synonymous regionally and nationally with showcasing the county's produce. The establishment of the Northcote cafe within the new Cathedral Quarter development gives residents, visitors and businesses another reason to choose an ever developing Blackburn with Darwen.” 

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