A QUARTER of a million pound refurbishment is restoring a much-loved Borders country house hotel to its former glory.

Seven-bedroom Heatherlie House Hotel in Heatherlie Park ­– incorporating a dining room, public bar and beer garden – was at the hub of Selkirk’s social scene for many years, playing host to gatherings of most of the town’s clubs and associations.

The hotel closed in 2018 and has remained vacant ever since.

It was bought by Dr Michael Fascia at the end of 2019 and more than £250,000 has been invested in restoring it in preparation for its reopening in April.

As part of that process, on Monday Dr Fascia successfully applied for a premises licence to sell alcohol from the council’s Licensing Board, members of which enthusiastically welcomed the hotel’s return and the investment in it.

The plan now is to open the hotel first and, when the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions allow, to open the bar to the public.

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Dr Fascia, originally from Edinburgh but whose family once owned a holiday home in Greenlaw, said he had been bolstered by the enthusiastic comments made by members at today’s meeting.

The business will be run by his son Michael, who also goes by the name of Sonny.

Dr Fascia added: “The councillors were extremely supportive. They enthused over the opening of the hotel, which surprised us somewhat.

“We perhaps don’t completely understand the significance the hotel has for Selkirk but the people at the meeting clearly did.

“Since we bought the hotel we have been refurbishing it and it has taken so long obviously because of the pandemic with a shortage of workmen and other issues.

“We have probably spent in excess of quarter of a million doing it up so we are very keen to open.

“Our intention is to run it as a very warm and welcoming Scottish family-run hotel. It’s not intended to be modern. It will deliberately be an old-fashioned country house hotel.”