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Historic Stow Station building saved from demolition and converted into a bar in the pub-free village of Borders

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The waiting room, ticket office and station master’s house in Stow, which had to be bulldozed to make room for parking, will also include a cycle path and meeting rooms.

Stow Community Trust (SCT) hopes the £ 844,000 development will attract visitors by train from Edinburgh, mirroring the success of the reopened railway in generating passengers bound for the borders.

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The trust is now looking for a tenant to run the bar and restaurant, which could operate as a temporary pop-up business to allow it to open during the summer.

Stow station was originally not to be reopened as part of the Borders Railway project.  Image: The Scotsman

Stow station was originally not to be reopened as part of the Borders Railway project. Image: The Scotsman

The village of 700 people has lost its three hotels and bars over the years and only has a part-time cafe.

The planned opening of the remainder of the complex by September would complete a remarkable change of fortune for the building, which was constructed in 1848 and converted into two houses after the Edinburgh-Carlisle railway closed in 1969.

One of only two original station buildings surviving on the route, along with Gorebridge it was long derelict when the line reopened in 2015.

The station was not part of the original plans for the re-established line between Edinburgh and Tweedbank, but was added after a local campaign.

Stow Community Trust President Helen Corcoran at the main gate of the station building. Image: The Scotsman

Campaign for Borders Rail Secretary Nick Bethune said: “Around 2009-10, before the railroad was given the green light, the preliminary engineering drawings showed that the buildings were to be demolished and the site used for. car parking.

“Detailed design hadn’t started, so there was a narrow window of opportunity to advocate for the conservation of the buildings.

“I felt the station house had enormous charm and character, it would be a tragedy to lose.

“There are so many great examples across Britain of old railway buildings that have been brought back to life in a way that benefits the local community and attracts more passengers to the railroad.

Stow Community Trust President Helen Corcoran hopes the building will become both a village center and a draw for visitors. Image: The Scotsman

“Based on my experience as an architect, I was able to produce an alternative site layout that showed that it was possible to keep the building and integrate the required number of parking spaces around it.

“It took a tremendous amount of extra work for many people to turn that first opportunity into the tremendous community asset that we see today.”

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TBS President Helen Corcoran hoped the building would become both a village center and a new destination for visitors.

Stow Community Trust President Helen Corcoran in the intended bar / kitchen. Image: The Scotsman

The 50-seat restaurant was created by extending the L-shaped building into a rectangle.

Its walls feature digital prints of trees by Stow-based artist Andrew Mackenzie and a walkway in Brunstane, further up the line.

The bicycle center will include bicycle rental and a repair workshop.

Ms Corcoran said: “This is the catalyst to change the direction of Stow

“We want to encourage more people to return to the railroad for their leisure.

“It was heavily used to get to Edinburgh, but not for leisure traffic from the city.”

Store villager Trevor Corcoran in one of the station’s meeting rooms. Photo: Stow Community Trust

Funding for the project comes from the Borders Railway Blueprint Program and the Railway Heritage Trust.

Trust Executive Director Andy Savage said: “We commend TBS for their efforts in catering, the high quality of the work and the way the new work matches and fits into the structure of the company. ‘origin. “

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The bar / kitchen will be housed in the green extension of the station building. Image: The Scotsman

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