Former bingo hall to become function suite

THE former bingo hall at North Bridge Street is to be turned into a function suite.

And it is hoped the new facility will be up and running early in the New Year.

An application to transfer the license to local businesswoman Michelle Walsh was approved at a meeting of the Licensing Board at council headquarters last Friday.

Changes to the hours when alcohol can be served were also agreed – 11am to midnight, Sunday to Wednesday; 11am to 1am from Thursday to Saturday.

Michelle’s mum Eileen, who is the personal licence holder, told the Hawick News: “It’s been a lot of hard work. When we shut the bingo hall down a year ago we tried to let the building and there was a lot of interest.

“We didn’t want to leave it empty and when the Weensland Function Suite closed earlier this year we decided to turn it into a function suite.”

It is understood the premises, which will be known as ‘Bridge Function Rooms’ will include conference facilities as well as provisions for wedding receptions, club and group meetings, dance facilities and parties.

Mrs Walsh said: “The function suite is upstairs and we’ve moved the bar up there. There will be seating for 300 and that can cater for live bands or performances.

“As far as downstairs is concerned there are no plans at the minute. We hope the whole thing will be well received.”

Concerns were expressed from local licence holder Neil Gillies, who operates Base Niteklub in Baker Street, over possible over-provision.

In his letter of objection he said: “The trade is in severe decline and existing business is very poor. Weensland Function Suite’s demise recently highlighted this very fact.”

However, the proposal was unanimously approved at the meeting.

Local councillor Davie Paterson, a member of the board, said: “There were no objections from the police or environmental health.”