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Spaces of Community: Exploring dynamics of the UK café industry


CBiS Pump Priming Fund




Dr. Jennifer Ferreira

Prof Marylyn Carrigan

Dr. Carlos Ferreira

Dr. Alessandro Merendino

Prof. Catherine Demangeot (IÉSEG School of Management, Paris)


The aim of the study is to explore the development of the café industry, and understand the role of different types of cafés in a range of urban spaces. Specifically the study seeks to examine not only the economic impact of cafes on surrounding areas, but the importance of cafés for different communities and cultures.

 It addresses the following questions:

  • How and why cafés have developed?
  • What role cafés play in communities?
  • How are café spaces used?
  • In what ways do cafés engage with the community?
  • To what extent can cafés act as community hubs in urban spaces?


This research will endeavour to produce information not only for those working in the café industry, but academics, policy makers and the general public. The project will address knowledge gaps around the use of ‘third spaces’ in urban areas in the UK, as well as explore the contribution places such as cafés make to different communities, and the various roles that they play.

The project is designed to deliver impact to a broad range of interested parties including academics, those working in the café industry, policy makers and the general public. Findings of the research will be presented a series of international conferences, as well as a local dissemination event which will be made accessible to anyone with a potential interest in the project findings. 

Broader information about the research topic, and updates on the research will be disseminated via the project blog

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