Fountain Cafe

Cafe and Cupcake railings

About the Cafe

The Fountain Café, previously hosted by Wyvern College, has a new permanent home in New Century Park, Fair Oak within a brand-new building provided by the Parish Council.  It is being run by the Fountain Cafe who is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company whose purpose is to build community togetherness by being a welcoming space, serving affordable food and drink, providing employment and work experience for those with additional learning needs, facilitating volunteering opportunities and developing community partnerships.


Project Timeline


Explore Project Feasibility & Concept

  • The Fountain Team and Parish Council get together to explore the possibility of building a modern cafe in the centre  of the village.
  • A Joint task and finish group is set up.

Agreement of Plan and Funding Sources

  • Initial Community Engagement work begins in the form of online surveys, letter drops, face to face door knock surveys, FAQ's and onsite events.
  • The parish Council agreed a project business plant/case and moved forward to initial designs and indicative costings.
  • Parish Council then approached the LAC for support on the project and were pleased to received financial contributions.
  • Thanks to initial support of Bargate.
  • Trinity Rose Architects join the team and continue to work with the Council on a pro bono basis until project completion.

Legal & Planning Process & Site Investigation

  • The Council agrees 'location' of the new build
  • Draft architectural designs drawn up and shared with community
  • Budgets are finalised and planning approval sought and obtained, following robust scientific ground investigations owning to the brownfield site conditions.
  • Sustainable processes, design concepts and landscape scheme agreed
  • The Council enters formal negotiations with the previous occupier, The Scouting Association, to enable relinquishment of the 99 year lease.

Site Preparation and Construction Begins

  • Initial Community Engagement work begins in the form of online surveys, letter drops, face to face door knock surveys, FAQ's and onsite events.

Final Touches & Preparation for Launch

  • Following demolition of the derelict Scout Hut formal tendering process results in appointment of builders Vision D&B Ltd.
  • Following construction, the Fountain & Parish teams commence the internal fit-out, and the hard and soft landscaping.
  • The soft landscaping is being undertaken according to seasonal planting requirements and continues to be a work in progress.


The Fountain Community Cafe has been made possible through Section 106 Developers' Contributions allocated by the Fair Oak, Bishopstoke, and Horton Heath Local Area Committee (Eastleigh Borough Council) and the Parish Council's reserves.

We are actively applying for additional funding to support initiatives like solar panel retrofit installation, community food planters, and a community fridge/pantry.

Key Partners and Collaborators

In delivering this facility, the Parish Council was proud to collaborate with:


The Fountain Cafe CIC, a not-for-profit organisation.

Our invaluable partner in realizing our shared vision.


Trinity Rose Architectural Firm:

Providing pro-bono services in design and project management.


Key collaborators supporting various aspects of the project:

Vision D&B Building Firm, Catering Equipment Support, Bloors, Southampton Wood Reclamation Project, Eastleigh Borough Council, and George Terry & Colin Phillips - Metal Designers.

Achievements & Outcomes

The Fountain Community Cafe, located on the southeastern edge of New Century Park, results from dedicated efforts and collaboration. The cafe aims to:-

Provide a Space for Community Gathering:

A place where the community can connect and form supportive relationships.

Future Community Initiatives:

As the cafe establishes itself, the Council in partnership with the Fountain Café hopes to deliver value-added community-focused initiatives, including workshops on sustainability, food skills, waste prevention, and more.

Community Engagement:

The council will use the venue to provide feedback forms and surveys to ensure the Council’s services meet residents' needs. We will also provide opportunities to sign up for volunteering opportunities at the Café and wider parish.

Soft Launch Events:

Community members will be invited to attend soft launch events during March 2024.

Affordable Homemade Food:

The Cafe will offer affordable homemade food, employment, and volunteering opportunities, ensuring inclusivity for all community members.

Overcoming the Challenges & Lessons Learned

Challenges during the scoping stage were overcome through additional surveys, a driven piled foundation scheme, and incorporating changes to the building design for sustainability. Lessons learned emphasise the importance of thorough planning and understanding planning requirements. 


The Café building has and will provide the following sustainable elements: -  

Living Wall for Nature Recovery:

Approximately 20m2 of the cafe will be covered by a living wall, providing food and shelter for local pollinators, insects, and birds, supporting nature recovery. 

Grey Water Harvesting:

Four 375-litre water butts with planters will be installed on-site collecting water from the building. This will prevent water from overloading the local drainage system and also provide water to sustain the living wall, trees and planters on site. 

Reducing Food Waste:

A community fridge/cupboard operated by cafe volunteers, supported by the Parish Council, aims to reduce food waste and provide free food from on-site community planters. 

Climate Cafes:

The Council aims to run regular climate cafes on-site, raising awareness of sustainability issues and providing tips for a greener lifestyle. 

Food Skills Workshops:

Workshops will be delivered covering basic food preparation, utilising locally grown food, and focusing on using leftovers to reduce food waste. 

Not forgetting..

Meeting Room Facility:

The Cafe plans to advertise the meeting room facility to local groups and organisations.

Community Appreciation:

The Fountain and Parish express gratitude to local residents for their patience and support during site preparation and construction and will host a taster session for them to explore the cafe before the formal opening. 

Community Support Venue:

The Cafe supports wider community provision by providing a venue for local PCSOs to hold regular beat surgeries. The Council plans various community engagement events in 2024 to thank local volunteers, network with charitable organizations, celebrate Earth Day, and more. A long-term program of events is under development, with aspirations to build a small outbuilding to house a men's shed group and bike/tool repair sessions. 

Next Steps/Aspirations

Internal Fit-Out and Training:

During March the Parish Council and the Cafe will finalise the internal fit-out, staff training, and complete hard and soft landscaping. 

Sustainability Initiatives:

Retrofitting solar panels. 

Long-Term Aspirations:

Host regular events, and community initiatives such as a Community Fridge/Pantry and adapting services to meet the changing needs of the local community. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We have planned extensive landscaping measures to address this concern. Over 17 metres of Beech, Hornbeam, and Holly hedging will be planted along the outside of the new black fencing along Shorts Road. Once this has grown to full height, it will act as a natural visual barrier. Additionally, Birch, Cherry and Amelanchier trees will be planted inside the railings along with a naturalistic planting scheme. We will share a comprehensive landscaping plan at the resident event.

The Council has instructed for large, branded manifestation to be added to the large windows/doors facing Shorts Road. The meeting room door will also (eventually) have slatted blinds. 

The site has three parking bays, two designated for disabled users. We will encourage visitors to utilize the Brookfield Road car park through marketing efforts and onsite banners. Moreover, we will promote greener forms of transport such as walking, bus, and cycling, and bike racks will be installed on-site soon. Unfortunately, the Council does not have any sway on the use of the village hall car park. 

The Fountain will be open from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm Thursday and Friday and 9.00am -3.00pm on Saturday 

No, there is a covenant on the land restricting the use to non-commercial/community activities. This is why the Council has partnered with a not-for-profit CIC to engage in targeted community-based initiatives and events alongside the main cafe. There is a meeting room on site that will initially be used by the Council a few times a year for Council meetings. Eventually the Café will hire this room out to community groups.  

No, the only fumes that will emanate from the extraction will be from sweet and savoury baking. There will be no deep fat frying or intensive cooking of any kind.

We have CCTV installed at the back of the building, along with alarms. Local PCSOs will undertake regular patrols and our security personnel will patrol the site during weekends in the summer months. Out-of-hours contact details will also be provided to residents.

The Council hopes to deliver several sustainable initiatives at the site including retrofitting solar panels, installing a community cupboard/fridge (to be open only when the café is open), edible planters, tetrapack drop-off and recycling, all alongside the hotbins (composting) and water harvesting tanks that will be used to water the living wall. 

Only during the splashpad season and only during those opening hours. The Council will be solely responsible for this facility.

The Café team will undertake regular litter picks during their opening hours. This will be alongside the Parish’s daily morning park and litter check. You may have noticed that we have installed more litter bins on the site which will be monitored regularly.

Several factors, including lengthy legal negotiations with the Scouts, followed by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the complications of a brownfield site and a shortage of contractors, contributed to the extended timeline. We appreciate your patience and understanding throughout this process.

Join Us in Building a Stronger Community! 

We are now officially open, as of 21 March 2024. We look forward providing a space where everyone is welcome and the community can thrive.

Thank you for your ongoing support!