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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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American-style diner plan for Carlisle city centre

Plans have been lodged to change the use of the toilet block at The Lanes Shopping Centre to provide extra accommodation for new retail units.

Bosses at the shopping centre are keeping tight lipped about exactly what will be replacing the toilets.

But the manager of the cafe next door, which is also due to close for good next Saturday as part of the scheme, told the News & Star it will be an American-style diner.

Dave Parrington, who runs Cafe M, also revealed that he and 12 members of staff had been made redundant but will have an option to take up employment with the new owners.

He said: “Most of my staff are quite upset because we have been in The Lanes for 13 years and we’re a really close team.

“Some of our customers have been coming in every week since we opened and it’s hard to think we might not see them again, but sadly things change.”

Janet Murray, marketing manager at The Lanes, said: “We are planning for a new and exciting dining experience coming into the city centre so we are having to take the toilets out for the time being.

"We are sure it will be a great asset to the shopping centre and the rest of the city.”

The loos scooped a platinum award from the British Toilet Association in December after they had picked up the gold award for the previous seven years running.

Ms Murray said temporary toilet facilities would be installed in the shopping centre.

She added that long-term plans had still to be finalised.

A nearby trader said: “I appreciate people won’t be happy about it [the toilets closing] but things change from time to time.

“I think it will be a good thing in the long term to have a new food place in there instead.

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