A NEW restaurant and bar in a Borders railway station is to become both a destination venue and a village focal point after it was given a green light to go full steam ahead.

On Friday, members of Scottish Borders Council’s licensing board endorsed an application from Stow Community Trust’s for a community bistro in Stow Station House.

The restored station master’s house is a detached building within the car park of the station, adjacent to the platform, with a wire fence separating the premises from the platform access.

Trust vice-chair Grace Murray told board members approval would provide a double boost.

She said: “We’ve done a lot of work to bring the derelict building into use again. We’ve had lots of public funding to make that possible and our intention is to create a central point for the village.

“Apart from the bowling club there aren’t any other licensed premises in the village and having a licence will allow us to start a recruitment process again for a tenant operator, who we hope will make a really great business of the Station House.

“The point around the community use is important and we do believe it will be an incredibly useful hub and meeting point for folk across the community but we also want to take the opportunity to draw people in from further afield.

“Part of the Station House is a cycle hub and we have been successful in receiving funding for nine e-bikes which are available for hire and we’ve mapped out a number of cycle routes and a number of walking routes and we believe that Stow has a unique opportunity, because it is on a railway line, to draw people in and make us a bit of a destination and on the back of the Station House create a more vibrant community than we have at the moment.”

Board member Robin Tatler said: “This is an initiative we should absolutely get behind 100 per cent and I have no doubts in supporting the application.”