York & North Yorkshire

York deli will be run by ex-Askham Grange prisoners

Askham Grange prison
Image caption Askham Grange is one of the biggest women's open prisons in England

A new Italian delicatessen planned for York will be run by female former prisoners.

The Larder Club will support the rehabilitation of ex-inmates from HMP Askham Grange.

A planning application has been submitted and a crowdfunding appeal has been launched.

The planning application, submitted by Blake Street Ventures, claimed the women will gain training and experience through employment.

In a statement, the firm said: "We intend to use these premises to operate a delicatessen cafe with a difference, because... it will also exist to reduce the risk of re-offending by seeking to increase training and employment opportunities for women offenders.

"Within a city that houses one of twelve women's prisons within the UK, we feel passionate about this issue within our community and passionate about empowering women offenders to change their lives for the better."

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Media captionAskham Grange prison runs a garden centre to help with rehabilitation

The deli could open on Blake Street in the centre of York by the end of January, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The building has been vacant since last year when York Cocoa House cafe closed the branch just before Christmas.

A £8,000 fundraiser is under way to launch the Larder Club.

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