Brief for consultants interested in providing

Business Planning



Business plan cover



Bringing the park’s buildings back to life…


Manor Farm Park is a 50-acre open space with woodlands, meadows and a lake. Once the grounds of George and Elizabeth Cadbury’s Manor House, the park opened to the public in 1951 and is situated just off the A38 in Northfield, 5 miles from Birmingham city centre. The Friends of Manor Farm Park (FOMFP), Birmingham City Council (BCC) and other organisations have been working for some time to bring the buildings at the entrance to the park back into use as a café with toilets. The site used to include the historic Cadbury Barn but in July 2017, it was destroyed by arsonists. Now there are plans to restore the remaining buildings for use by the community. This document describes the outline plans for the site and ways it may be managed and provides the scope for a business plan that will enable parties to decide whether to proceed with the next stage of the project.

Our Vision

A café with toilets, perhaps with a multi-purpose leisure and educational resource, would be an attractive destination for visitors from nearby and further afield. It would enable a range of activities to take place in the park all year round that would focus on arts activities, wellbeing and sports and leisure. At the same time BCC will create a Playzone for older children to complement the existing one, we hope to have some adult gym equipment and there will be a Heritage a trail with picnic benches that celebrates the heritage of the park, both recently with the Cadbury family and before that in earlier times when the park was farm land and once part of a mediaeval deer park. Our vision is to continue the philanthropic tradition of the Cadburys by developing the whole site to provide a community café that will celebrate its historic, cultural and natural heritages.

What is happening?

BCC, which holds the park in Trust, had insured the Barn and now has approval from the Trusts and Charities Committee to use some of the insurance damages from the destruction of the Barn to assess the cost of bringing the outbuildings back into use by the community and for restoring the Lodge for use as offices for Parks and Nurseries staff.

FOMFP is using a grant from the Big Lottery’s Awards for All scheme and Birmingham City Council to establish whether a café with toilets and possibly with a community space can be run sustainably on the site. In the coming months BCC will repair the roof of the Lodge on the site and appoint Acivico specialists to assess its state and that of the other outbuildings on the site. If economic it will bring the lodge back into use as mess facilities for Parks and Nurseries staff and also restore the outbuildings on the site for community use.

FOMFP is talking to advisors, potential partners and users of the park to assess the viability of taking over the running of the buildings and facilitating the operation of a café for community use there. We have created a Charitable Incorporated Organisation that could operate the site and are awaiting its approval from the Charity Commission. We are also talking to funders and operators about how best to develop the site.


Proposed Business Options
We are exploring three business options for the refurbishment of the current outbuildings and adjacent land;
A. Refurbishment of existing Outbuildings (approx. area 280 sq m) to accommodate;

Option1. A standalone Café with toilets.

Option 2. A Café with toilets and a catering business.

B. Regenerate the site with a mix of existing and new build to accommodate.

Option 3. A Café, with toilets, a catering business based on Options 1 and 2 above and a new build community space (up to an additional~300 sq m)

Scope and Purpose of Business Planning

We would like to commission a consultant to carry out business planning for Option 1 & 2, which should also include an outline feasibility study into Option 3, and calculate the potential impact that community space could have on the viability of the Café and Catering Business.

The scope of work for the nominated consultant is as follows:

1. Review of available documentation.
2. Creation of a detailed business plan for Options 1&2.
3. Develop a market feasibility study for a new build community space (Option 3), which also calculates the impact on options 1&2.
4. Organising meetings with the FOMFP committee members and other relevant stakeholders to feed into this business planning process as required.

Business Planning for Options 1&2 to include;

Products, services and activities

  • The USP of a café and catering business at Manor Farm Park.
  • The key features and success factors required for establishing a commercially sustainable café and, if appropriate, a catering business on site.
  • Product range for café based on hot and cold drinks, snacks and cakes with an emphasis on healthy eating. Outlining opportunities to provide niche products to the local market e.g. locally sourced, sustainably sourced, gluten free and vegan.
  • Opportunities for integrated on-site retail such as craft or local/speciality food products.
  • Potential product offerings for catering business.
  • How Options 1&2 benefit the local community and strengthen FOMFP’s vison for the park.
  • Ideally, the café operator will be a social enterprise.


The Local Market for Options 1&2.

  • A full analysis of the local market for cafés, its size, socio-economic/demographic data, future trends and key current issues.
  • The target consumer groups and prioritisation for café and catering. Assessing any site-specific opportunities such as the vicinity of the Hospital, Council Depot, A38 and regular park users, cycle way, runners, park events. The market locally for corporate events, private parties, weddings, festivals and events.
  • Competitor analysis of local market for retail and commercial catering.
  • SWOT analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the location. A PESTEL analysis that identifies the risks and opportunities that may affect the commercial viability of the café.

Marketing & Sales

  • Market Segmentation. We believe that there are several customer groups that may use a café and we wish to know more about them, their characteristics, the product offerings that they find attractive and any common and conflicting characteristics they have.
  • These groupings include; existing park users, commuters and local workers, dog walkers, carers of pre-school children, year 7 + school students, older people, co-workers and people who want to visit the site in its own right.
  • Consideration of the optimum mix for customer groups.
  • Pricing strategy
  • Marketing Strategy and outline plan to include channels of communication for different customer groups


  • Organisation Structure and governing arrangements; exploring pros and cons of commercial operators vs social enterprises and options for partnership models between operator and Manor Farm Park CIO.
  • Optimum business hours, calculate the impact of seasonally adjusted opening hours (café)
  • Suggested product offerings for the target groups.
  • Licencing & Health & Safety requirements of any equipment and services.
  • Impact of site limitations on operations and profitability (no gas supply and industrial activity on site).
  • Anticipated human resources and remuneration in order to fully support the operational capacity required to run the business. To include job profiles of the proposed staff.
  • Calculate extra seating capacity required to meet demand generated by events and seasonal activities within the park.
  • Management and IT systems required for order processing, retail activity, stock control, management accounts and quality control.
  • Delivery options and parking requirements for a catering business and potential for café offsite delivery (sandwich orders etc).

Financial Analysis

  • Set Up: The capital required for fit out and other costs associated with setting up Options 1&2.
  • Calculations for staff costs, running costs, fixed costs and inventory costs.
  • Sales and growth targets
  • Cash flow projections and Profit and loss forecasts for the Business Options.


Risk analysis

Option 3 Feasibility

Develop an outline feasibility study analysing the local market and operational requirements for a new community hall of circa 300 sq m, sited adjacent and connected to the buildings planned to accommodate Options 1&2. The study should also assess the impact of a new community hall on the sustaiof Options 1 & 2. It should include an initial assessment of the following;


  • Overview of the facility and amenities (to include flexible main hall, office, bar facility, ancillary kitchen, toilets and storage/service areas).
  • USP such as parkland setting, good transport links, new building.

Market Demand

  • Building on the market research contained in the Cadbury Barn Options appraisal and previous FOMFP consultations, establish current market demand and need for a venue capable of accommodating a variety of uses including; corporate events and meetings, children’s parties, weddings, events, playgroups, after school clubs, community groups, dance, fitness and wellbeing activity, workshop and other educational activity, regular/seasonal markets and other community uses.


  • Map local competitors including neighbouring community facilities and other premises for hire in a two-mile radius of the site comparing their age, location, size, pricing, facilities, usage and availability.
  • Investigate if there are any plans for new or refurbishment of existing community facilities in the area.

Operational Requirements

  • Operational management and staff structure (and potential use of volunteering).
  • Opening Hours.
  • Licencing options.

Operational Costs and Income

  • Estimate the operating cost of the facility.
  • Estimate the potential income based on market analysis.

Critical Risk Factors


  • An initial assessment on the viability of a new build community facility at Manor Farm Park.
  • Its impact on the sustainability of Options 1&2.

Output: A business planning document including executive summary; the minimum content being the work identified within this brief. To include a site visit and briefing meeting with FOMFP project team.

Timing: We would envisage the business planning to be completed by July 2019.

Site Information
A cluster of former farm buildings are now used as a depot by Birmingham City Council Parks Service and are located at the main entrance to Manor Farm Park, within the boundary of the park. The entrance is off Bristol Road South (A38) between Bournville and Northfield (B31 2AB; Grid Ref: SP 02848 80644). The park is in Northfield Constituency and is in Weoley and Selly Oak Ward. The entrance road provides vehicular access to the depot and to car parking for depot employees and park users.

Our feasibility focuses on the three connected outbuildings, which are currently unused apart from the toilet block. (labelled ‘Existing Outbuildings’ on-site map)

Outbuilding Images

Site map

Existing outbuildings


Existing Outbuildings Dimensions

The site currently has an electric, water supply and mains drainage.

The site has several constraints such as not having a gas supply and an electrical distribution board that cannot be moved. BCC is commissioning a series of studies to establish the condition of these buildings and the costs of bringing them back to a usable state. It is unlikely that these will be completed before this Business Plan report is due to be completed. FOMFP is commissioning other studies on the physical aspects of the catering arrangements.

Responding to this brief

To be considered for this work, please submit a short proposal and quotation which should be no more than 6 pages of A4 describing how you intend to meet the brief.

Please include within your proposal:

- Evidence of similar work

- How your proposal will meet the scope and purpose of this brief.

- Your fee (inc. VAT if applicable), expected number of days and availability.

- Details of two persons or organisations who can comment on your ability to carry out this work.

Deadline for submissions: 30th April 2019. To be submitted by email to David Viney This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Further information

If you want to discuss further call David Viney 07981233252 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Visit the Friends Manor Park Farm website and/or Facebook page or












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