Five bidders in the running for park cafe tender

Wilton Lodge Park volunteers, back row from left: Gordon Macdonald (museum) and Andrew Frame. Front: Lisa Brydon (co-ordinator), Alan Andrews and Derek Halliday.
Wilton Lodge Park volunteers, back row from left: Gordon Macdonald (museum) and Andrew Frame. Front: Lisa Brydon (co-ordinator), Alan Andrews and Derek Halliday.

Five tenders have been lodged for construction of the new cafe and bridge in Wilton Lodge Park.

This welcome news was given to the regeneration stakeholders’ meeting in the council chambers last week. One of those tenders is from a local firm.

It is intended the cafe will be built first, work starting in January, followed by erection of the bridge over the River Teviot, commencing in March, for a planned opening in July 2016. The meeting learned this as part of a presentation given by project manager Scott Castle, of Edinburgh consultants Thomas & Adamson.

The 2016/17 programme to complete the park regeneration also includes a new children’s play area beside the new cafe; Common-Riding ceremonial area; riverside promenade; and new park main entrance gates and pillars.

The meeting then learned of the successful commitment by park events manager Gordon Webber and Walled Garden volunteer co-ordinator Lisa Brydon during the season. Theme for 2015 was the Year of the Bee and this proved very popular with townspeople, as were the regular music events.

During the year, the park volunteers, that was those helping in the Walled Garden, at the museum, at the various events, wildlife recording and the Friends of Wilton Lodge Park group, clocked up 2,671 hours which equates to £55,375 in monetary terms – a great community effort.

The events theme for 2016 is the Year of the Trout and Teviot, including a fayre at the end of the summer; a continuation of the regular Sunday afternoon music, with a trial of some higher profile artistes; a focus of events with young people such as the Escape Café; and a possible Walled Garden show by Firebrand Theatre.

Continuing the sustainability of event management and volunteer co-ordination is essential if the retention of the part-time posts held by Gordon Webber and Lisa Brydon can be in place when the five-year park regeneration project ends in February 2018.