Flood cash boost for Galashiels

GALASHIELS is to get almost £3million towards the cost of a new flood protection scheme, it has been announced.

The Scottish Government last week revealed that the town, together with Forres and Inverness were to receive support as part of the local government settlement for 2012-15.

The three new schemes will receive up to 80 per cent of their total costs from the Scottish Government. The Galashiels scheme, which incorporates Plumtree, Wilderhaugh and Netherdale, is costed at £3.6million.

Local authorities are yet to appoint project contractors but ministers hope the announcement will give assurance to potential bidders and residents.

It was following representations from local authorities about funding of large scale flood protection schemes, that the Scottish Government and COSLA [Convention of Scottish Local Authorities] agreed that for the 2012-15 spending review period, the flooding component of the general capital grant should be targeted towards major projects.

The distribution of this was agreed between COSLA and the Scottish Government.

Mr Stevenson said it was great news for flood protection in Scotland, particularly Scottish Border Council.

“We have listened to the concerns that this resource should be targeted towards major new projects.

“Today’s announcement will give these councils the certainty to tender and I look forward to seeing the positive impact these schemes will have on the lives of residents and livelihoods of businesses in Galashiels. ”

SBC leader David Parker told TheSouthern: “This announcement is very good news for Galashiels and it will allow the council to proceed with an important scheme that will protect homes and businesses from flooding.

“At least the Borders has secured some of the national flooding funding. There was very strong competition for this funding.

“Our priority will, of course, now turn to delivering the Galashiels scheme on the ground and we are continuing to develop the scheme in Selkirk so that if an opportunity for funding becomes available we can make a formal application.”