The much-heralded new cafe in Hawick’s Wilton Lodge Park is finally to open its doors next week.
Town councillors have been outspoken in their disappointment at repeated delays to the venue’s opening, but it has now been fitted out by West Yorkshire-based operator Caterleisure and will open on Wednesday, February 7, at 1.30pm.
The name of Wilton Lodge Park’s new bridge will be unveiled alongside the opening of the cafe, originally scheduled to get up and running in April last year.
The bridge’s name will be revealed by pupils from Drumlanrig Primary School and Burnfoot Community Schools, joint winners of a competition to name the steel structure, along with late Hawick rugby commentator’s widow and daughter Bette McLaren and Linda Lawson.
Right after that, the new cafe will be declared open by Hawick honorary provost Watson McAteer, although it will not open to the public ountil the day after.
Both projects are part of the £3.64m Wilton Lodge Park regeneration project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Borders Council.
Hawick and Denholm councillor Clair Ramage said she is glad to see the cafe finally being poised to open its doors, adding: “Caterleisure, who won the contract for the cafe, are hoping to have a soft opening on Tuesday, but the new bridge will be officially opening on Wednesday and after the opening ceremony, the cafe will be providing drinks and food.
“It is great to see that after all this time, the cafe is getting ready to open.”
“However, it did sadden me, as I was talking to the two workers, to learn that one had travelled from Essex and the other one from Liverpool.
“I would have thought that good local labour might have been available, saving on time and costs.”