A “real opportunity” has arisen within the halls of one of Anerley’s most historic buildings – and your input is wanted.

Elaine Harrison, development manager for the Crystal Palace Community Trust, said the group had thrown open the doors for expressions of interest into managing the community cafe within Anerley Town Hall.

Two years ago the trust – which has managed the hall since 2017 – started raising funds to convert the old library into a community centre and activity space, aimed at providing a safe, educative space for children and young people from the surrounding area.

An integral part of that was the hall’s cafe – which Elaine said was intended to be run as a semi-commercial enterprise aimed at creating training and jobs for local people.

A charity initially expected to operate the cafe pulled out earlier this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Elaine now saying a ” real opportunity” was now available for someone else to step into the breach.

Elaine said they’re now searching for expressions of interest from applicants, with the trust open to an operator either from a commercial background or from the local area.

The cafe has taken on extra importance as income at the hall, as with many other businesses, was buffeted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We lost a lot of income from not being able to hire out the hall for events,” Elaine explained.

Built in 1879, continued development over the last 100 years means the multi-use centre now includes a library, halls for community and private use, and 28 fully-furnished offices providing low-cost space for businesses.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the cafe is encouraged to email Elaine at development@cpct.org.uk