£600,000 revamp of Stow community venue getting under way

How Stow's station house will look after being restored.How Stow's station house will look after being restored.
How Stow's station house will look after being restored.
Plans to give Stow’s old railway station house a new lease of life are on track and due to reach their destination by the end of this summer.

Hawick building firm James Swinton and Co has been given the contract to revamp the trackside building – to include a bar and bistro, community facilities and a cycling social enterprise – and it plans to start work this month.

It hopes to complete its makeover of the 19th century property, vacant for over six years, in late August.

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The development will include a hub for cyclists and other visitors and a multi-purpose room for community, business and private use.

The station house as it is now.The station house as it is now.
The station house as it is now.

The £600,000-plus project is being run by the Stow Community Development Trust, with support from Scottish Borders Council and other funding bodies including the Scottish Government, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the Railway Heritage Trust, ScotRail’s station community regeneration fund and BCCF Environmental.

The community development trust’s Helen Corcoran said: “This is great news for a project that has been supported by so many in the community and by our partners.

“The excitement will build between now and the end of August, when the new facility will open its doors to customers.

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“The station house was built in 1839 and has been empty since 2013, but thanks to the work of many local people in the village over a number of years, our new facilities will create a warm inviting location to enjoy food, drink and great company in the newly-refurbished building.

“The addition of a social enterprise cycling business will provide local access to cycle repair services and reconditioned bikes, helping to put Stow firmly on the cycling map.”

Mid Berwickshire councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development, added: “I am delighted to hear that work is set to get under way on the Stow station house project.

“The hard work of local people to take this project forward is notable, with significant support from a number of organisations who recognise the benefits such a facility will provide local people and visitors.

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“The Stow station house’s connection to the Borders Railway is obvious and its re-development will aim to capitalise on the many people who are now visiting and exploring the area, particularly for cycling and walking, thanks to the rail line.”