Ogilvie appointed to Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor attraction

Ogilvie Construction has been appointed to build a visitors centre in Galashiels which tells the story of Scotland through one of the world’s largest tapestries.

The Stirling-based firm will begin work in the coming weeks to develop a home for the Great Tapestry of Scotland which has been created by 1,000 people from across the country. 

Illustration of the new visitor centre at the former Poundstretcher building and former Post Office in Galashiels

Designed by architectural practice Page\Park, the town centre facility will have a wide range of interactive displays and activities. There will also be exhibitions and events for tourists and locals alike, as well as a gift shop, café with local and seasonal produce, and educational facilities for all age groups.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland – which will be managed by charity Live Borders - will kick-start a new future for Galashiels, alongside a number of other projects which will provide a host of benefits for the town and the Scottish Borders. 

Reception view

Significant improvements to the town centre are currently being taken forward in partnership with community groups, and a masterplan which aims to transform Galashiels and encourage investment in the wider Borders economy is being progressed.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development, said it is “a hugely exciting time for Galashiels and the Scottish Borders”.

High Street view

He said: “I am delighted we now have an experienced and trusted contractor in place to take forward the building of this nationally significant attraction, with the artist impressions indicating it will be a stunning piece of architecture in Galashiels town centre. 

“Jobs will be created during construction of the facility alongside a wide range of social, economic and educational benefits once the building opens to the public.

“Heritage and culture experts predict the centre will attract over 50,000 people to Galashiels each year once opened, as well as create 16 new jobs at the facility.”

Cllr Rowley added: “In addition, almost £900,000 of extra spending per year is predicted for the local economy, providing 12,000 extra visits to complementary attractions, supporting a further 17 jobs.

“The Tapestry is the first stage of a wider masterplan to regenerate Galashiels, which is starting to see encouraging developments such as the expansion of local estate agents Cullen Kilshaw into the Transport Interchange and positive community feedback on the Coulter’s Candy sculpture.

“With the Jim Clark Museum set to open this year, a £1.3 million Hawick Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme being announced this month and continued investment in key Scottish Borders events, there are more and more reasons for people to come to the Scottish Borders.”

Channel Street view

Donald MacDonald, managing director at Ogilvie Construction, said: “We are delighted to be part of such a prestigious initiative for Galashiels and the Borders. The new visitor centre will be built to the highest standards creating a first class facility and we will look forward to engaging with the local community throughout the construction period.”

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