A POPULAR Stourbridge coffee shop has closed just months after issuing last-ditch plea for investment.

The Well in Stourbridge High Street - which has been a base for Christian ministry services as well as a haven for coffee drinkers for 22 years - called in the administrators yesterday (Wednesday).

Eleven long-serving full and part-time members of staff have lost their jobs, plus a number of volunteers.

Director Roger Eames blamed dwindling resources, the economic downturn and increased competition from other cafe outlets in the town for the demise of The Well - which comes just four months after a public plea for fresh investment was issued and just weeks after the closure of its book store on May 31.

Mr Eames said: “We ran out of money and didn’t find anybody willing to take it on so I had to put it in the hands of the administrators.

“It’s obviously sad to see it go and sad for the staff. The vast majority are people who have been there a long time.

“One lady started within a couple of months of us opening and three or four have worked there for 15 years or more and the others have been there seven or eight years. One of our volunteers has also been there since we opened.”

During its heyday The Well, a registered charity, hosted a range of events including Alpha courses, outreach dinners, men’s breakfasts, divorce recovery seminars and prayer breakfasts.

It also provided a counselling and pregnancy support service on the first floor above the coffee shop, run by Stourton based Living Springs charity.

Mr Eames added: “We need to look at the good things that have been achieved not just with the coffee shop but the counselling work and pregnancy centre.

“There’s a lot of things that have gone on that are very positive and a lot of people have benefitted from.”

Living Springs will continue to run the pregnancy and counselling service from the High Street venue; it can be accessed via the entrance at the rear of The Well, off Court Passage.

Tickets for Stourbridge theatre group Side by Side’s next show, which were on sale at The Well, can now be purchased at Celebrations of Stourbridge gift shop at 47 High Street.