STAFF have been left 'heartbroken' after funding for bistro services at a pair of retirement homes was cut.

Cheshire West and Chester Council confirmed it has withdrawn funding for catering facilities at Hazelmere, in Winsford, and Hollymere, near Ellesmere Port, two supported living developments managed by Avantage.

Denise Blythe, who works in the restaurant at Hazelmere, says she has been given two weeks' notice.

“I'm totally devastated and heartbroken for the residents here, they have become like my family,” she said.

Hazelmere and Hollymere both offer a collection of one and two-bedroom apartments for those aged 55 and over.

While each of the apartments includes a kitchen, some residents rely on the restaurant for regular hot meals.

Northwich Guardian: Hollymere in Ellesmere PortHollymere in Ellesmere Port (Image: Google Maps)

Cheshire West and Chester Council, responsible for managing the restaurants, stated the decision to withdraw funding was made due to 'low demand'.

Council officers are now working with concerned residents to find alternative solutions before the restaurants shut on March 28.

Cllr Sheila Little, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “The decision to close bistro services at Hollymere and Hazelmere from March 28 hasn’t been taken lightly, but it’s unavoidable because of the low demand for these services.

“We appreciate this news may come as a concern, especially for those who rely on this service to access a regular hot meal.

“Anyone who currently accesses bistro services through their support plan is being contacted directly to look at the alternative options and anyone else with concerns is encouraged to speak to the care team on site so they can be supported.

“Staff from our commissioning team will be visiting both services to allow residents to express any views or concerns they have and these visits can be used as an opportunity to gather feedback on how future services could look more widely within extra care housing.”