Community Interest Company (CIC)is a type of company introduced in 2005, designed for social enterprises that use their profits and assets for the public good. CICs have special features to ensure that they are working for the benefit of the community.

ParkLife Community Interest Company was founded by Friends of St.James’ Park(FoSJP) in November 2010 in order to operate the Café and Community Room in St.James’ Park, with financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Southampton City Council.

From July 2010 through to July 2011, St.James’ Park underwent extensive restoration and improvement, as part of a Parks for People project funded jointly by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Southampton City Council.

One of the major improvements was the refurbishment and extension of the World War II Air Raid Precautions (ARP) building in order to create a fully‑functional Café with Community Room and toilet facilities. ParkLife now operates the facilities in this building on behalf of FoSJP for the benefit of the local community, under a long‑term lease agreement with the building’s owner, Southampton City Council.

St.James’ Park was re‑opened on 6th July 2011, the ParkLife Café opened for business on 15th July 2011, and the ParkLife Community Room was first booked out on 17th July 2011.

Who runs ParkLife?

ParkLife is run by a small board of voluntary directors, each of whom is a member of FoSJP, and it employs a small number of full‑time and part‑time employees, bolstered by volunteers.

To contact ParkLife, please call 023 8077 9763 and ask for the Café Manager.

Who benefits from ParkLife?

Everybody in the local community!

ParkLife operates as a social enterprise, providing not only café and community room services to the local community, but also providing opportunities for volunteering, learning, and employment.

All profits from ParkLife’s operations will be reinvested into the organisation to ensure a sustainable business, with any surplus profits being donated to FoSJP and other local organisations for the benefit of the local community.

ParkLife’s Aims

ParkLife’s Vision
To offer the community a place to meet, eat; drink, think; learn, and earn.
  • To provide a venue which enhances people’s enjoyment of St.James’ Park and the wider environment, through the provision of café refreshments, indoor community room, and public toilets;
  • To provide a venue for members of the community to meet, making the venue inclusive and welcoming for all;
  • To provide a café serving high quality food and refreshments, ensuring that menus offer choice including more affordable options;
  • To promote healthy eating and ethical sourcing of ingredients, including fair traded and locally sourced food where possible;
  • To provide a venue from which FoSJP‘s work and other local community services can be delivered;
  • To provide a venue to promote the rich heritage of the Park;
  • To provide work, volunteering, and training opportunities;
  • To provide a venue for educational classes, health, welfare, and support groups;
  • To generate income with profits reinvested back into the business to ensure sustainability; any surplus will be used to provide services which benefit our community via FoSJP and ParkLife.

ParkLife’s Sponsors