After 16 years, Oxford’s beloved Jam Factory is set to close and will be saying goodbye to its venue in Oxford city centre.
Despite best efforts, Andrew Norton and the team could not reach an agreement with the landlords – Nuffield College – and will close its doors for the last time on 17 September 2022, with hopes to reopen the business elsewhere.
In a statement on their website, the team said: “The Jam Factory is the best it has ever been. The food, art, service, plants, and atmosphere are all blossoming, and it is disappointing to have to walk away from this incredible venue when there is so much more to give.
“We have been incredibly blessed and want to thank the inspiring colleagues we’ve worked with, the loyal customers that we’ve laughed with and the artists that have made everything possible.
“Jam Factory Arts will continue to thrive, both online and with our partners across the county, to give artists a platform and voice and to continue to make the arts accessible to all.
“We continue to work with all guests to find an alternative space, and we would also love for everyone to come and share the next short weeks with us… Let’s celebrate and look forward.”
Andrew, and his sister Claire Gaskell, opened The Jam Factory in 2006 in abuilding on the site of the Frank Cooper Marmalade factory, hence the name.
A spokesperson for Nuffield College said: “The College’s agents, Savills, have been in discussion with the Jam Factory Café on the terms of a new lease since September 2020.
“Since then, we have worked hard to achieve an outcome that would enable the café to remain in the premises and have always responded promptly and constructively in our interactions with the tenant.
“We recognise the important role the café plays in the west end of Oxford and the local community’s affection for it and did not wish to see it close.
“We believe that we have done as much as we reasonably can to reach an agreement, and we are disappointed that it has not been possible to arrive at a solution and that the café has now decided not to enter into a new lease.”
Andrew, who runs the business with Claire, is already looking for their next venue and is keen for any property owners to get in touch if they have “a massive warehouse on the ring road and they want to give it a heartbeat”.