A new restaurant has been officially opened in a restored former railway station in Ross-shire.
Platform 1864 in Tain will be run by local chef, Graham Rooney, 35, who has converted the town’s disused station into a cafe and gastro-pub.
Primary six pupil Emily Vass came up with the name Platform 1864, honouring the year the station was built. In recognition of her effort she will have a dish named after her on the menu.
Local architects and builders were contracted for the work and a competition was run for pupils from Mr Rooney’s old primary school Craighill, to name the restaurant.
Mr Rooney is also donating 50p each time this dish is sold to support local initiatives to benefit the wider community, and is currently seeking volunteers to act as trustees for the body.
He said: “I was very fortunate to be able to train as a chef here in Tain, and have been able to use that experience in developing my career around Scotland. I am delighted to return to Tain, and will use Platform 1864 to offer a new facility in the burgh, which will also put back into the community some of what I have gained from my own experience here.”
The project has been funded jointly by grants from Transport Scotland’s Station Community Regeneration Fund (SCRF) and the Railway Heritage Trust (RHT).
The SCRF has provided £210,000 to the project and the RHT has given £105,000, which Mr Rooney has matched to fund restoration work and equipment.
Andy Savage, executive director of the RHT, said: “Tain is a wonderful example of how the local community can use a listed railway station in new and imaginative ways. We are delighted to have been able to help fund Graham Rooney’s imaginative proposals, and wish them every success in the future.”
Tain station was built and opened by the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway in 1864, but this company almost immediately merged with another to from the Highland Railway.
In its heyday it employed up to 30 staff, but its fortunes gradually declined as the railway changed and modernised, and the building eventually closed to passengers in June 1991.
The building is Listed at Grade B, so it has sat empty until now.
It is open from 9am today and serves coffee, cakes and breakfast as well as evening meals.