Royal plaque unveiling marks £7million investment in Dalkeith Country Park

Friday, 01 July 2016

HRH The Duke of Gloucester yesterday (June 29) visited the soon-to-open Restoration Yard at Dalkeith Country Park.

This major project – which brings a superb new store, café and wellness space to the much-loved park – represents a multi-million pound investment in the local economy and will create forty new full time equivalent jobs to service an estimated 300,000 annual visitors.

The Duke unveiled a plaque acknowledging the extensive history of the Stableyard which dates back to the 1700s and the beginning of a new chapter, with the imminent opening of the Restoration Yard and Fort Douglas adventure playground.

He was welcomed to the park by Lord Damian Scott, who is leading the project on behalf of the Buccleuch family; and Duncan Mackison, Chief Operations Officer at Buccleuch.

The Duke also met project partners who have played an integral role in the redevelopment including Amanda Pratt, designer and previous owner of Ireland’s leading retail and food experience, Avoca; and representatives from construction firm Taylor & Fraser.

The Restoration Yard will open its doors on Monday 25 July alongside an expansive new adventure playground named Fort Douglas. The park’s walking and cycling routes have also been upgraded and a new programme of activities is currently being developed.

The 1000 acre park now includes a new nature trail through its 700 year old ancient oak woodland alongside re-laid paths for walkers, cyclists and buggies and over 100 waymark signs and nature interpretation boards.

Lord Damian Scott said: “It was an honour to welcome The Duke of Gloucester to Dalkeith Country Park. Today’s plaque unveiling marks the restoration of these beautiful eighteenth century stableyard buildings and sets the scene for an exciting new era of operations within the park.

“The stunning natural surroundings of Dalkeith Country Park are readily accessible on the edge of Edinburgh and provide a wonderful backdrop for this new offering. Our vision was to create a first class destination for visitors while sensitively restoring the Category A listed buildings which are steeped in history.

“We are extremely hopeful that the combination of a gorgeous new store, café and wellbeing space within The Restoration Yard, alongside the dramatic riverside adventure park Fort Douglas, will draw visitors from far and near for many years to come.”

The Duke of Gloucester concluded his visit with lunch in the Boudoir, the Restoration Yard’s private dining room which will be available to hire for functions. On the menu was produce from across Buccleuch’s estates including locally-sourced salad and venison.

The Restoration Yard’s café and food and drink retail area will offer a wide variety of local produce throughout the year.

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