Restoration Yard to breathe new life into Dalkeith Country Park

Restoration Yard to breathe new life into Dalkeith Country Park

19th April, 2016

Multimillion pound redevelopment to create around 50 jobs

Dalkeith Country Park’s multimillion pound redevelopment has gathered pace with the announcement of the creation of around 50 jobs.

A new retail, food, drink and wellbeing space, named the Restoration Yard, will take pride of place in the park’s previous stableyard area alongside the magical new Fort Douglas playground. Overall the new development brings more than £4million of investment to the popular park.

A new Visitor Services Manager, Andrew Elmer, has already been appointed and the hunt is now on for an Assistant Visitor Services Manager as well as a Retail Manager, Head Chef, Food & Beverage Manager and Front of House Manager. Elmer was previously Operations Director at the multiple award-winning Our Dynamic Earth.

The remaining posts, which range from event, bar and maintenance staff to sales assistants will be advertised ahead of opening, which is scheduled for this summer.

The Restoration Yard’s exciting concept has been developed in conjunction with Amanda Pratt, designer and previous owner of Ireland’s leading retail and food experience, Avoca.

It promises two intriguing floors of shopping – embracing a diverse retail mix from lifestyle to fashion to children’s, alongside a dramatic, glass-walled restaurant space looking out across the river Esk – and it heralds Scotland’s first development emulating the signature, eclectic style synonymous with Avoca.

A purpose-designed wellness loft will also feature, offering a range of activities focused on mindfulness, health and wellbeing.

Fort Douglas, the 1,000m2 playground which sits alongside the Restoration Yard, was designed and created by luxury treehouse and play area designer, Blue Forest.

Together they will form a hub at the heart of the 1,000-acre Dalkeith Country Park, which is owned by the Duke of Buccleuch.

Duncan Mackison, Chief Operations Officer for Buccleuch, said: “It’s a very exciting time at Dalkeith Country Park, with the finishing touches being put to Fort Douglas playground and work well under way on the Restoration Yard.

“Not only will the redevelopment reinvigorate the park and provide visitors from the local area and beyond with a truly unique experience; it will create a number of jobs in the local area. We look forward to building the best possible team to offer our visitors some fantastic days out.”

As part of the redevelopment, the wider park’s walking and cycling routes are being upgraded. A programme of additional activities throughout the park is also being planned.

Amanda Pratt, designer of the Restoration Yard, said: “I’m delighted to be involved in the project – bringing the first Avoca-style retail and leisure concept to Scotland is a fun yet significant project for me and the rest of the team.

“I’ve been inspired by the Buccleuch family’s history, and by the space itself. We’re transforming an old stableyard into a beautiful place featuring interesting design elements to create a space where people can take time to restore and enjoy themselves. The unique wellness space, a wonderful café with great food and an exciting retail experience with hand-picked product lines, will breathe new life into Dalkeith Country Park.”

As work continues on the Restoration Yard and Fort Douglas, Dalkeith Country Park remains open for walks and cycling.

Full information and updates can be found by visiting