Further blow for Elgin as long-standing Café to close

Cafe Ecosse - to close in February
Cafe Ecosse – to close in February

ELGIN HIGH STREET has been hit by another business closure as the long established Café Ecosse is set to shut their doors for a final time next month.

The café has been operating on the corner at North Street for almost 34 years – but reducing footfall, increased competition and no help for shop owners from Moray Council has led to owner Evelyn Thomson concluding that she was “paying prime premiums for what is no longer a prime site”.

Ms Thomson, who is also owner of the popular Harbour Lights restaurant in Lossiemouth, announced the closure saying that she was “enormously sad” that the decision had to be made, adding that for Elgin the future “has never looked so bleak”.

She said that prime sites in Moray’s civic capital were now those on out-of-town developments where customers did not face parking charges and owners enjoyed reduced rents and rates that had no Business Improvement Interest fees.

Chairman of the economic development and infrastructure committee at Moray Council, Councillor John Cowe, said he was “very disappointed” at the decision, the second major closure in Elgin this year with Junners toy store shutting down earlier this month.

He said: “I know the family well – they are extremely hard working and have a very successful business in Lossiemouth and a baker in Inverness. There are two coffee shop chains in the High Street and it is a very competitive market – I am sorry to see Café Ecosse close.”