Big Lottery boost for Gala and Greenlaw projects

COMMUNITY projects in Galashiels and Greenlaw have been boosted with major cash awards from the Big Lottery’s new Community Spaces fund.

In Galashiels, the Waverley Tenants Organisation (WTO) has received a grant of £85,000 to develop a playpark in Beech Avenue, Langlee.

The facility, which will include new play equipment, will improve physical activity levels among children and provide a focal point for families to meet.

WTO chairman Gerry Moss said: “The new Diamond Jubilee playpark in our area will greatly improve the lives of all our children and their families. It will also encourage healthy play and social interaction across the community.”

On Tuesday, WTO secretary Judith Cleghorn conveyed the good news to a packed assembled at Langlee Primary School. “The kids cheered with delight at the fantastic news,” she said.

Most of the £85,000 will go on the provision of new play equipment, along with security cameras, but the WTO is hopeful some money will be left over to carry out further environmental improvements on the estate.

Tenders for the project are being sought from local contractors.

The land, which has been gifted for the project by the Waverley Housing Association, was last year the subject of an unsuccessful bid for funding from the People’s Millions fund.

Meanwhile, plans to return Greenlaw War Memorial Hall to its former glory will come to fruition thanks to a grant of £250,000. The hall committee will use the money to renovate and extend the historic building, erected as a temperance hall in 1882 and donated to veterans of the First World War in 1918.

The upshot will be a modern community hub with space for youth activities, a museum, a cafe, an area to display local arts and crafts and a flexible and accessible meeting space.

Committee chair Kym Campbell-Whitton said the funding was the result of five years’ hard work and determination by fellow members to create a multifunctional facility fit for the 21st century.

“This will allow the residents and seasonal visitors to access services on a local level, reduce the village’s carbon footprint, reduce social isolation, improve the wellbeing of the community and increase services and opportunities for our vibrant children and young people,” she added.