THE café at the Great Tapestry of Scotland centre in Galashiels is proving more popular than the visitor centre itself, councillors have been informed.

The café is a runaway success – but far from everyone who enjoys a cuppa there goes on to tour the visitor centre.

Figures for October to December last year reveal that the Tapestry attracted 4,268 paying visitors, lower than the target of 7,384.

But the numbers utilising the facility’s café are “outstanding”, members of Scottish Borders Council’s external services/providers monitoring group were informed on Tuesday (March 7).

Euan Jackson, chief operating officer with Tapestry operators Live Borders, accepted there was a “disconnect” between café and attraction visitors.

Galashiels councillor Euan Jardine suggested that a promotional offer could be launched to encourage café visitors to tour the rest of the complex.

Mr Jackson said: “The numbers across the café are outstanding. There is a disconnect between those that come into the café and those that come upstairs, but many of the people that come to the café come back day in day out.

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“I’ll take on-board your idea of putting on some sort of marketing collateral onto the table.”

Members were told that in the third quarter of 2022/23 there were a total of 87,045 visitors across all Live Borders facilities – against a target of 61,701.

The Mary Queen of Scots’ Visitor Centre in Jedburgh proved more popular than anticipated, with 3,572 visitors over the three-month period against a target of 1,950.

The report revealed an upsurge in library visitors for the period at 64,032, against a target of 37,500.

Live Borders was established in April 2016, bringing together Borders Sports and Leisure Trust and the arts, heritage, libraries and cultural services previously operated as part of Scottish Borders Council.

It operates 60 venues, including swimming pools, leisure centres, museums, galleries and community centres.

Live Borders currently employ 340 people, although recruitment is proving an ongoing problem. The organisation welcomes more than 360,000 cultural and 1.1 million sports participation visits ever year.