The writing is already on the wall for Hawick cafe and it’s not even open yet

Stirches Primary School pupil Aiden Middlemass and Trinity Primary Schools Ellen Dobbie add their signatures to the framework for the new cafe in Hawicks Wilton Lodge Park.

Stirches Primary School pupil Aiden Middlemass and Trinity Primary Schools Ellen Dobbie add their signatures to the framework for the new cafe in Hawicks Wilton Lodge Park.

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The writing is on the wall for the new cafe at Hawick’s Wilton Lodge Park before it has even opened – but not in a bad way.

Pupils from the town’s primary schools have been signing their names on its frame to leave their mark ahead of its completion next year.

The youngsters signed a section of the structure of the building before it was covered in cladding as an alternative to burying a time capsule.

Contractor Esh Border Construction is working on the cafe and bridge alongside a new playpark being built by specialist firm Wicksteed.

One new job has been created by Esh for the cafe and bridge works, and the project has also seen a new apprentice employed in its supply chain.

The work on the bridge, cafe and playpark is taking place as part of the £3.64million Wilton Lodge Park Regeneration project funded by Scottish Borders Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Galashiels councillor John Mitchell, depute leader of the council, said: “While Hawick will benefit from a brand new café and bridge in 2017, the local community has already seen work experience opportunities, an apprenticeship and a job created, as well as engagement with schools.

“This is due to the community benefits clauses the council now builds into its contracts with suppliers, which is a key to providing local people and communities with support during construction of a project.”

Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar, the authority’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, added: “The regeneration project has already delivered a number of improvements to Wilton Lodge Park, and I am pleased the construction of the café and bridge have seen some spin-off benefits for the community.

“The cafe and bridge and playpark will all be major assets for the park in 2017.”

Construction director John Moore said: “This has been a hugely gratifying project for us to be involved in.

“It’s been the definition of community engagement, from fresh employment to apprentice opportunities and widespread school involvement.

“We believe that our work on the cafe and bridge will further enhance what is already a great site, encouraging greater use and interest across the park itself and surrounding area.

“The already-beautiful Wilton Lodge Park is about to become even better and a really family-orientated community hub for Hawick.”