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Cafe plan for park pavilion

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By Fiona Reid
Moffat
Cafe plan for park pavilion

A PARK pavilion could find a new lease of life as a catering facility this summer.

Community councillors in Moffat are pushing ahead with their plans for Station Park’s pavilion.

During a meeting last week, Fiona Murray said members were concerned about the park “not really getting the attention and investment it deserves from Dumfries and Galloway Council”.

She added: “Summer weather is here finally and we have no facilities operating in the park at all at the moment and we’ve not had any update from the council on whether any of the facilities will be opening this summer.”

The group recently asked the local community for suggestions on potential uses for the park’s iconic pavilion, which was refurbished earlier this year.

“The most popular suggestion by far was for a cafe,” Mrs Murray said. “We had community cafe, ice cream parlour, pop-up cafe, tea room – and also that the pavilion should contain some memorabilia either station related or something related to the history of the park. So we agreed that we would consider that.”

Group secretary Sylvia Moffat said after discussing the idea with the council, Annandale and Eskdale’s community asset manager, Nicola Simpson, was “a bit concerned about catering from the pavilion because local businesses need business at this moment in time”.

Mrs Moffat added: “They [the council] would normally do some catering themselves in the park but this summer she felt we should just support the local traders and let folk go up to the town to get teas and coffees and things like that. So I don’t think the council will do it.”

Chairman Leys Geddes then asked councillors if they were in agreement with the council’s position.

However, Alistair McNay said: “I think the general consensus between us is we’d like something in there.”

And Fiona Murray added: “Some of us are really keen to have the pavilion open in some way over the summer months.”

Annandale North Councillor Stephen Thompson, in attendance at the meeting, commented: “I’m sure the council wouldn’t want to come across as being dismissive or whatever, but if the community council feels that they would like to at least explore the opportunity of a local facility up the park then I don’t see why we couldn’t try to support them.”

A suggestion to invite local traders to make use of the pavilion was tabled and Mr McNay pointed out that the solution “takes away the argument that we’re taking away trade from the town”.

Mr Geddes concluded by telling councillors “we’ll have to think about it”, adding: “We have agreed to do it and it’s up to us to decide how.”

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