Belfast Telegraph

Hillsborough Castle's charity cafe staff in limbo

Rebecca Black

The new operators of Hillsborough Castle have refused to make a firm commitment to take on charity workers with learning disabilities who run a cafe in the grounds.

Talks are currently under way between Praxis Care, which runs the business, the Northern Ireland Office and new operators, Historic Royal Palaces (HRP).

Praxis has been told it must vacate its Secret Garden cafe to make way for HRP to turn the caste estate into a major visitor attraction.

It is pleading with HRP to take on the 16 young people with learning disabilities who currently work at the venue.

HRP will take over responsibility for management and presentation of Hillsborough Castle from April 1.

However, a spokeswoman for HRP said while it was currently in talks with Praxis, the aim to take on the evicted workers was a long-term aspiration.

Praxis was told a year ago it had to vacate by April 1.

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