Lancaster property developer partners with food distribution charity to support those in need

Inside the unit.

The rent-free agreement will see Eggcup move into the former Co-op building on Chapel Street as its sole occupiers.

Eggcup is a membership-based charity that redistributes surplus food across the Lancaster city region through volunteer-led pop up clubs.

The organisation aims to support people on a tight budget while also encouraging a cooperative spirit – with many of its members also serving as volunteers for the charity.

The hub is due to open on August 31.

The temporary lease will enable Eggcup to operate a central hub as a replacement for its Covid-19 emergency doorstep delivery service.

The new hub will also complement Eggcup’s food club warehouse which needs to grow in scale partly as a result of demand following the coronavirus pandemic.

The site is next to Lancaster bus station and closed its doors as a supermarket in 2015.

Work is currently under way to get the building ready for Eggcup’s arrival, with the plan to begin operations from the beginning of September. This work is being funded by the National Lottery Community Fund as part of its nationwide Covid-19 support.

Eggcup volunteers at work.

David France, manager for Eggcup, said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to operate a town centre hub which will allow us to reach many more people who are finding it hard to make ends meet.

“It’s a struggle magnified by the fact we are one of the most prosperous countries in the world and have problems with surplus food and food waste.

“Our work to tackle this issue on behalf of people living across our district relies on cooperation and strong partnerships with other organisations and individuals.

“We’re therefore delighted to strike up this agreement with CityBlock and for them to kindly offer access to a temporary base that will enable Eggcup to continue its vital work in the redistribution of food.”

Getting ready for the unit to open.

Established in 2002, CityBlock Group specialises in property developments and particularly in the provision of quality student accommodation. It owns and manages several prominent student accommodation sites across the country – in Lancaster, Durham and Reading – which together accommodate more than 600 students.

At the heart of CityBlock’s success is a commitment to its people. The company focuses on developments of up to 250 units and prides itself on its commitment to outstanding levels of customer service and developing a brand that is loved by students.

Trevor Bargh, CEO of CityBlock, said: “Eggcup is a great charity and an initiative that provides vital support and services on behalf of some of the most vulnerable people in this region.

“This year has been difficult for everyone but charities have been hit especially hard in their hour of need. While we continue with our plans to eventually transform the site, providing the space as a temporary base for the Eggcup team is the very least we can do to help out.”

Eggcup’s registered offices and headquarters are currently based at Lansil Industrial Estate. To find out more about Eggcup and how you can volunteer: www.eggcup.org. If you’re interested in membership or if you’re a local business with food to donate call Eggcup on 01524 389584.

For more about CityBlock, go online here

Lancaster Guardian