Alfresco drinking given the green light

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Kelso councillor Tom Weatherson says his town will be given an “international feel” after a local hotel was granted permission to serve alcohol to customers sitting outside.

“This is part of a grand plan coming to fruition,” said local Mr Weatherston at Friday’s meeting of the Scottish Borders Licensing Board.

The Cross Keys Hotel, which dominates the north side of the Market Square, had sought a change in its operating plan, asking for an area of table and chairs to be included for the first time in the hotel’s “licensing footprint”.

“This will allow our staff to serve and convey drinks to these customers which we cannot do at present,” said a hotel representative.

The board heard that “adequate barriers” would be used and that the alfresco drinks service would stop at 10pm.

Board member Mr Weatherston said the move would complement the ambitious ongoing programme of improvements.

“The idea was always to give the town centre a real international feel and this will certainly help,” he added.