Work is well under way to create a new attraction and community hub at a picturesque spot in the middle of Hereford.

The £1.56-million project to revitalise the historic  Castle Green Pavilion by the river Wye began two months ago and is expected to be finished “toward the end of next summer”, chair of the Friends of Castle Green group Paddy Nugent said.

Wholly funded by the Government-backed StrongerHereford programme, “we got it through because we had spent two years consulting with users and residents”, he said.


A grade II listed building and scheduled ancient monument, beside the river which is a side of special scientific interest (SSSI), “we have needed every permission under the sun”, operations and project manager Katie Bott said.

Hereford Times: a visualisation of the planned pavilion café, with rooftop seatinga visualisation of the planned pavilion café, with rooftop seating (Image: Friends of Castle Green)

A new café to the immediate southeast, will replace unsympathetic modern extensions to the building, already demolished.

This will accommodate 40 at a time, while the copper- clad roof terrace, with views across the river to Bishop's Meadow, will take a further 20.


The pavilion is currently recruiting a cafe operator, which has already attracted widespread interest.

Ms Bott expects this to be “local and independent – it has to stand out”, while Mr Nugent expects it to serve “fresh, quality yet affordable food”.

Among plans for the new gallery space insde the existing building will be an exhibition by College of Art students documenting the StrongerHereford projects.

Three existing rooms will meanwhile remain for community uses such as yoga classes, Ms Bott explained.

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The building will aslo serve as a revamped base for Hereford Youth Canoe Club, which will get new showers and changing rooms, lifts to give access to all abilities, and a new launch “chute”.

The project has been able to employ mostly local firms and specialists, as according to Ms Bott, “there is an amazing amount of talent in Hereford”.

The project ties in with other improvements to the area, Mr Nugent added.

“If you are exploring the Cathedral quarter, this building itself will become an attraction.”