A HEALTH care café is on the hunt for a new operator after their current provider was forced to pull out.

The café, held within Clackmannanshire Community Health Care Centre in Sauchie, was previously operated by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) before low sales meant they had to close.

Whilst initially popular before the Covid lockdown, the café has struggled to draw in customers post-pandemic and has led to the service closing the café permanently.

Chris Gray, head of retail operations for Royal Voluntary Service, said it was a hard decision to pull out, but one that was made necessary.

He said: “We have been pleased to see trading return to many of our cafes and shops, which are predominately based in hospitals, following the pandemic.

“There are, however, some sites where there is reduced footfall and customer spend, including our café at Clackmannanshire Community Health Care Centre.

This means we have had to make the difficult decision to close the café. As a charity operating in a challenging environment, it’s no longer viable to run this service.

“We are sad to see this service go and would like to thank all our staff and volunteers who have supported the café over the years.”

The café has been empty in the health centre since it closed, with the building under ownership of NHS Forth Valley.

Keith Brown, MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane constituency, has stressed the importance of the café on the community.

“I was disappointed to receive confirmation from the RVS that their decision to close the café is a permanent one and will not be revisited,” he explained.

“Whilst I understand that the reduced footfall in the centre post-pandemic has meant that the café has not been returning a profit recently, it is an important amenity for the users of the health centre and I am sure that there is potential for growth as we continue to return to a more normal way of life.

“This could be a good opportunity for a local business or another third sector organisation and I have written to NHS Forth Valley asking what plans they have to see a new operator for the café.”