Hawick shoppers will be able to wake up and smell the coffee before Christmas as an international chain prepares to open a new cafe in the town.
Work has started on the conversion of the former WH Smith premises at 52 High Street into the latest Costa Coffee outlet in the Borders.
Conversion work is currently creating a counter-kitchen, seating area, toilets, two meeting rooms for rent and storage areas in the unit, vacant since the stationery chain pulled out of Hawick in 2014.
The proposals also include an external seating area.
Costa is currently looking to recruit a store manager, assistant manager and what it describes as a barista maestro in addition to other full and part-time posts.
The firm was founded in London in 1971 by the Costa family but is now based in Bedfordshire. Taken over by Whitbread in 1995, it now runs more than 3,400 cafes in 31 countries.
Besides its cafe in Peebles High Street, Costa has a franchise within the Next clothes store in Galashiels and operates Costa Express outlets at the Co-op in Lauder and Jedburgh’s Shell garage.
Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson described the outlet’s imminent opening, in late November or early December, as a “timely boost to the town”.
He said: “News that Costa Coffee is opening in the High Street before Christmas will hopefully bring more folk onto the High Street and help other shopkeepers.”