Galashiels confirmed as permanent home for Great Tapestry of Scotland
The £6 million development will see the town’s post office brought back into use, a former Poundstretcher store demolished and a new building erected.
In October last year, Scottish Borders Council (SBC) unanimously approved plans to build a permanent home for the Tapestry close to the train station in the village of Tweedbank where the new Borders railway terminates.
However, a new site in Galashiels emerged earlier in the year which was not available when the original assessment of the town was carried out, and significant work has since been undertaken to look at Galashiels in conjunction with the original Tweedbank site.
Since February 2016, SBC has been working in partnership with the Scottish Government and other partners in the Borders Railway Blueprint programme to consider the best location for housing the Tapestry in the region.
Councillor David Parker, SBC’s leader, said the project has the potential to deliver “a successful tourism and regeneration proposition”.
He added: “I am delighted such a nationally and internationally important arts project is coming to the Borders.
“Councillors were presented with a report that set out the details of a comprehensive due diligence process.
“That process has convinced the Scottish Government to provide £2.5m and we hope the proposal will benefit from enhanced support from a range of other funders.
“Notably, the proposal has a wide range of significant community support.
“The Galashiels option provides greater flexibility for educational and community uses within an affordable, deliverable and well located site.
“It means a world-class tourist attraction can be provided in this town centre location, close to the new Borders Railway and benefiting from excellent road links.
“I am delighted that Members from across the political spectrum have united to support the project today, particularly from some groups who were previously opposed.”
Cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “I welcome today’s decision by Scottish Borders Council, which opens up the ambitious prospect of a new home for the Great Tapestry aligned with the broader tourism, regeneration and community benefits to Galashiels and beyond. The Scottish Government continues to earmark £2.5m for this project and I look forward to seeing progress with the next stages of its development.”