Gnome House Cafe Tender



N.B. A downloadable version of the tender document is available here:  Gnome House Cafe Tender

Information for applicants

1. Organisational context
The Gnome House Café is based in Gnome House, a community creative space in Walthamstow (London Borough of Waltham Forest), an area of regeneration. Gnome House is an art deco building which is being refurbished and is due to open in May 2015. The ground floor will consist of a meeting room, workshop/performance spaces for hire, a printmaker’s studio and the café. Our organisation’s vision is to transform our community through creative endeavour by establishing a centre of creative excellence that:

  • enhances the cultural landscape of North East London
  • improves social, economic, educational and health outcomes for its users/our community
  • celebrates the diverse cultural heritage of the local area
  • offers a programme of artistic learning opportunities that are:
    • Accessible
    • Relevant
    • Engaging
    • High quality

Towards our mission we aim to:

  • Build partnerships with local, national and international arts and cultural organisations and statutory and voluntary sector establishments
  • Provide pathways for creative employment for local young people including internships and work placements
  • Nurture new talent
  • Provide incentives for established local artists to exhibit and perform at Gnome House
  • Present a rolling programme of festivals, exhibitions and performances
  • Offer a learning programme including:
    • activities for disabled people, older people, NEETs, the LGBT community, schools, colleges, unemployed people and those on low incomes and pre-school children and their parents/carers
    • culturally relevant activities
    • Gnome House Youth Theatre / Spoken Word Club
    • Becoming an Arts Award Centre (and possibly Supporter Centre)
  • Create incentives for local arts and cultural organisations and statutory and voluntary sector establishments to use Gnome House for their creative learning programmes including membership and loyalty schemes
  • Provide inspiring performance, exhibition and workshop spaces
  • Harness digital and social media to enhance and promote all aspects of Gnome House.

For more information about Gnome House, please visit our website at

2. Gnome House Café
The Gnome House café is a medium-sized café based on the mezzanine level of Gnome House, a short walk from the busy junction of Forest Road and Blackhorse Road/Lane in Walthamstow. The café is 753 sq ft and has an outdoor terrace. The café has a kitchen and is kitted out with cupboard units, work tops, sink, flooring and roller shutters. There is space for fridge/freezer & oven, however we will not be supplying these. The café is not licenced to sell alcohol but we are happy for the licensee to apply for a license. The café is seen as being an integral part of Gnome House and as such its role in acting as a hub for the local community is critical to Gnome House’s success in meeting the needs of local residents.

Gnome House CIC sees the café contributing to its aims in the following ways;

  • To provide a warm and welcoming environment for local residents that is comfortable and accessible and that is able to act as a social hub, providing a space and environment able to accommodate a range of users.
  • To provide affordable and good quality food that caters for the diverse local area and is considerate of the social and economic barriers to accessing such a facility.
  • By exploring partnership opportunities to develop collaborative events and social programmes that will enhance opportunities for local people to use the café and access Gnome House.

3 The relationship between Gnome House CIC and the Gnome House Café
Gnome House CIC are the landlords of the premises and a licence agreement will be offered between Gnome House CIC and the organisation/individual running the café. The opportunity to run Gnome House Café is a unique one. Due to the importance of the café in meeting Gnome House’s objectives, we wish to ensure that the café is (i) as profitable as it can be for the licensee (ii) that the aims of Gnome House are met through the approach that the café takes and (iii) that there is ample flexibility for both parties to run a creative business model that meets the needs of both Gnome House and the café licensee.

4. The opportunities

Gnome House CIC is open to suggestions regarding the opening times of the café. The spaces in Gnome House are available for hire from 7am-11pm Mon-Sat and 10am to 4pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays. The following will be strong considerations during the decision making process;

  • Approach to consistency in terms of both the delivery of a high quality service and the staff running the café
  • Approach to possible facility sharing for one-off and special events and the implications of this on service delivery

5. Rent and additional cost implications

Gnome House CIC is seeking a financial offer on a licence basis for the café.
Service charges: TBC
Business rates: Not included
Utilities: Charged according to usage. NB: There are check meters in the cafe for gas and electricity.

6. Catering for Room Hire

Gnome House has a range of rooms available for hire. Users may request catering for their respective events. Whilst income generation from hire outs cannot be guaranteed and is dependent upon a number of factors, this may be a source of income for the licensee.

7. Tender Requirements

In order to apply to deliver the services outlined above, applicants will need to submit 1 x tender application comprising of no more than 6 pages of A4, in Arial with a font of no less than size 11.

Applicants must:

  • provide the following applicant’s details; name, address, contact number, e-mail address and link to website (if applicable)
  • provide a brief overview of why the organisation is interested in taking on the running of Gnome House Café
  • provide an overview of their organisation or CV if an individual, detailing previous experience relevant to the opportunity on offer, including information relating to all staff involved, qualifications and level of experience/skills
  • provide details of the proposed provision including proposed opening hours for the café (days and times), financial offer, staffing structure and approach to management
  • demonstrate an understanding of the local area, its demographic and in turn the need for the café and its position within the context of other local provisions. Applicants must also show an understanding of how the café will create access for a varied customer base, specifically how it will ensure that Gnome House ’s need for the café to be a hub for the local community is developed
  • provide suggested menu options or broad overview of offer (example menus can be attached as an appendix, suggested prices must be included). Additionally, applicants should include a separate offer of catering options for those that hire out our space
  • provide an overview of business plan/approach (can be included as a separate appendix or as part of the application) to include projected turnover for the first year.
  • Applicants should clearly demonstrate how the café will balance a robust business approach with its local agenda as a community facility.

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive, applicants must ensure that they respond to all of the above within their applications whilst also addressing the needs identified throughout the tender brief.

Application should be submitted to the Board of Directors by no later than by Monday 27th April at 5pm.

e-mail at

Applications received after this date will not be considered.

8. Tender Process

Assessment of tender applications will be in two stages namely:
1. Tender applications
2. Panel Assessments: Shortlisted applicants will be invited to present their plans to an
assessment panel comprising of at least 2 representatives of the Gnome House Board of Directors. Please see below the proposed timeframe for the application process;

  • Tender brief released 1st April 2015
  • Viewings 9th April 4-7pm
  • Application deadline 24th April 2015, 5pm
  • Shortlisted applicants meet with assessment panel w/c 11th May 2015
  • Final decision communicated w/c 18th May 2015
  • Contracts commence: As soon as practicable after 18th May

If you have any questions relating to the tender process or a general query regarding the opportunity on offer, please e-mail

9. Visiting Gnome House Café

As part of the tender process, we will offer the opportunity for prospective licensees to come and visit the facility in order to gain a better understanding of the opportunity on offer. These visits will take place on Thursday 9th April 2015 between 4 and 7pm. Viewing by appointment only. Please email

Gnome House CIC at Gnome House, 7 Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, London E17 6DS. Gnome House CIC is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No: 08625039.

Click on link for plans of ground floor of Gnome House:


N.B. A downloadable version of the tender document is available here:  Gnome House Cafe Tender