Sweetener on the table in bid to clean up ‘neglected’ shop

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THE owner of the dilapidated Sugar Mountain sweet shop is being offered financial assistance and elbow grease from Hawick Community Council in a bid to improve its appearance.

The poor state of disrepair of the former Green Cafe premises has often been the subject of complaints and has been raised at meetings, but this week it was agreed to finally take action and write to its St Boswells-based owner.

Put forward by Community Councillor Andrew Farquhar, a member of the planning sub-committee, it reads: “Members of this Community Council over a period of time have received many complaints from visitors, members of the community and neighbouring property owners regarding the state of the shop. The frontage is an outstanding example of Victorian architecture and occupies a prominent position in a part of the town that has seen investment and successful regeneration in recent times.”

It goes on: “Sadly the neglected and dilapidated appearance of the premises seriously detracts from the good work that has been done to bring about these improvements.”

The community council is offering to meet with owner Ken Rodgie, and thre has been an assurance from Future Hawick chairman Derick Tait that funding allocated to improve empty shops will be available. They are also offering voluntary help, and to arrange advice on longer term restoration of the building.

After securing the support of chairman John Hope and the community council, Mr Farquhar stated: “It’s crucial something is done about this building before it’s too late.”

And highlighting the severity of the issue, he added: “If we don’t hear back within seven days, we phone him. It could even be we end up in court if the community council wants to take civil action.”

Chairman Mr Hope added: “We want to resolve this matter for the people of Hawick.”