Two local companies have beaten off stiff competition to run the catering services at the Forestry Commission Scotland visitor centres within Galloway Forest Park.
Following a tendering exercise, Galloway Lodge Preserves and Cream o’ Galloway will serve quality food and refreshments to the 800,000 visitors that enjoy the forest park each year.
Currently, a £4.5 million project is underway to build a brand new visitor centre at Kirroughtree, with major upgrades being carried out to both the Clatteringshaws and Glentrool centres.
There are local caterers already providing a service at Kirroughtree, however Cream o’ Galloway will take over towards the end of the year when the new centre is expected to be opened.
Galloway Lodge Preserves is expected to start at Glentrool at the end of July and at Clatteringshaws in the middle of August – when both these centres are ready for opening.
Iain Kirkpatrick, project manager for the new visitor centre project with Forestry Commission Scotland said: “We are thrilled to bits that we’ve now got local companies on board to provide the catering. Both have an excellent track record and have a superb understanding of the market we are in.
“It is a great result and we’re really happy that local businesses will be helping Forestry Commission Scotland provide a quality service to visitors to Galloway Forest Park.
“The work on the new visitor centres is going very well and we are confident that visitors will think they are a marked improvement on what was there before.
“There’s still quite a bit of disruption going on at the sites and we’d like to thank the public for their patience whilst this is continuing. We’re sure the wait will be worth it.”
See in landscaped grounds, the new modern Kirroughtree centre will be very user friendly for all visitors wishing to venture to the forests or just wanting to visit a great location for a good cup of coffee.
There will be new showers, changing facilities and bike washes too making it an all year round attraction. The centre will have ground floor heating from renewable sources and a wood burning stove to add additional heat and atmosphere.
Clatteringshaws will see a major refit with huge glass windows with good views out over Clatteringshaws loch and across in the core of the Dark Sky Park.
Glentrool’s centre will be more modest with an upgrade of the small centre and toilet facilities, keeping Glentrool an intimate and picturesque site for all to visit.