Bid to rescue cafe

The Tower Mill coffee shop could be up an running within a week if the council approves a budget drafted by business managers today (Friday).

The facility closed its doors last Friday after after the Filmhouse Cafe Bar pulled out of the Tower Mill building leaving 12 members of staff out of a job. But, according to Heart of Hawick business manager Lindsay Wood things could change in the next week.

Speaking to the Hawick News yesterday (Thursday), Mr Wood said he was optimistic that a council-backed operation would be the best option at this stage.

“We have put together budget proposals and these will be presented to the council for scrutiny. There is still a lot to do and we are currently talking to suppliers regarding a coffee machine and grinder as well as an industrial cooker.”

Mr Wood revealed that he was meeting with former staff members and that he hoped to be in a position to offer them jobs.

“We are meeting with staff and although we may not be able to offer what they had before, we are keen to get them on board before they find jobs elsewhere. They are trained and more then able to do the job.”

Mr Wood added that he had received expressions of interest.

“We have had people phoning us and we have had one serious enquiry and two less serious.”

“We are very close to finalising proposals which will see us reopening. It’s an ambitious plan but we have to aim high.”

The Filmhouse Cafe Bar pulled out last week after it claimed financial negotiations with Scottish Borders Council had broken down.

But the Hawick News understands that demands, which included a £250,000 contribution towards running costs, left the council with no option but to let them walk away.

Speaking this week, local coucillor Stuart Marshall said: “I am reassured that things are moving in the right direction here and I am confident that this facility will be open within the next week.

“And those responsible for getting to this stage should be congratulated.”