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October 7, 2009

Spectacular new event space opening in Scotland’s capital tomorrow

Prestige Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh are delighted to announce the opening of the new John Hope Gateway visitor facility which opens in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) tomorrow, 7th October 2009. Prestige Scotland, responsible for the catering contract at the new facility, will add this fantastic new facility to their extensive portfolio which currently includes catering for both corporate and private events within the 70 acres of beautiful landscaped Garden. Prestige Scotland will manage services at the new 120-seat day visitor restaurant and 40-seat VIP room, part of a £15.7 million development project, which has been designed according to principles of green construction and sustainability. The John Hope Gateway will offer visitors a facility where they can discover the world of plants, explore the scientific work that takes place at the Garden through a unique set of interactive experiences and activities followed by refreshments and hospitality in the new restaurant facility. In the evening this exclusive venue will turn into a magnificent event space with outstanding views overlooking the spectacular Biodiversity Garden and beyond. The Garden currently welcomes around 660,000 visitors each year and hosts over 700 annual events. The new restaurant facilities will provide a new exclusive and versatile corporate or private venue, perfect for weddings and conferences for up to 190 guests. The restaurant is situated on the upper floor, alongside an education room, bar and VIP room which form a suite of spaces running the entire length of the building, which spill onto a large roof terrace overlooking the spectacular Garden. The name of the new John Hope Gateway facility commemorates RBGE's 18th century Regius Keeper, Professor John Hope, a leading botanist and teacher of his time who was also responsible for unifying the Garden at one site on Leith Walk. This pioneering and beautiful building will provide a host of new opportunities and attractions for people of all ages and abilities. With the materials used, the various energy saving measures and renewable energy production, The John Hope Gateway will be an excellent demonstration site for promoting sustainability and design and will include many demonstrable features such as a biomass boiler, rain water harvesting, a wind turbine, solar collectors and photovoltaic solar panels. As an integral part of the catering contract and commitment to embracing environmental best practise, Prestige Scotland will be implementing a variety of environmentally friendly and healthy eating initiatives at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. These include sourcing food locally where possible; ensuring the use of only biodegradable packaging; and organising educational programmes for children to teach them about the importance and benefits of a healthy, balanced diet. Bespoke chairs and tables have been designed for the restaurant with the timber for the tabletops coming from timber previously felled and seasoned from the four Gardens of RBGE – Edinburgh; Benmore, in Argyll; Logan, in Dumfries & Galloway and Dawyck, in the Scottish Borders. Alyson Cawley, Managing Director of Prestige Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh at such an exciting time. This unique new venue gives us the opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of our catering and hospitality expertise from afternoon teas to fine dining events.” Prestige Scotland, which took over the catering contract at RBGE in March 2008, also manages The Caledonian Hall and The Terrace Café, which has views over the city’s skyline and castle, with a marquee site available for private hire.
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