Project team setting out its stall in Gala

Galashiels Transport Interchange
Galashiels Transport Interchange

Organisers hoping to set up a business improvement district (BID) in Galashiels will host an information evening at the town’s transport interchange next Wednesday, October 4, from 5.30pm.

The project aims to join more than 30 successful BIDs already operating in Scotland, and it follows an application by Energise Galashiels for Scottish Government funding.

It has also received financial support from Scottish Borders Council and the Borders Railway Blueprint fund.

Mike Gray, chairman of Energise Galashiels, said: “It became clear during the course of our work that Galashiels would benefit from a larger, more defined and business-led initiative.

“The business improvement district model is the ideal vehicle to lead town-centre regeneration, and this prompted us to apply for Scottish Government funding to develop a BID.

“We were delighted when this was awarded earlier this year and look forward to supporting the development of the BID project in the coming months.”

A BID sees businesses pool resources and ideas to their mutual benefit and to that of the town and wider community, and each one is specific to the town it serves, is business-led and seeks to meet local needs and aspirations.

Businesses and commercial property owners are asked to vote in favour of a business improvement district before one can be created, as has already happened unsuccessfully in Peebles and is about to go to the polls in Selkirk.

Galashiels BID chairman Craig Murray said: “Our aim is to position Gala as a visitor destination and equip the town to capitalise on the benefits of the Borders Railway and the arrival of the Great Tapestry of Scotland in 2020.

“We are in the early stages of consulting with businesses and are asking business owners and managers to tell us what they would like to see in the Galashiels business plan.

“Our information evening will allow business and community groups to find out a bit more about BID for Galashiels and at the same time give us the opportunity to hear what businesses want a Galashiels BID to deliver.

“I think we can all agree that everyone who lives and works in Galashiels is fiercely proud of the town and wants it to be the best it can be.

“We want to help the town reach that goal.”