Former Co-op building to be demolished

Poet's Corner, Selkirk.
Poet's Corner, Selkirk.
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Long seen as an eyesore in the centre of Selkirk, the former Co-operative building, which latterly housed the ill-fated ‘Poets’ Corner’ is to be demolished.

The building, which is across the road from the Victoria Halls, has been lying empty for more than 10 years, and although a bid by Scott’s Selkirk to pretty it up by fixing boards showing poetry by the Borders bards showed some improvement, they, too, fell into disrepair.

The building was part of the Selkirk Conservation Regeneration Scheme (CARS) and was prioritised for renovation.

However, speaking at Monday’s meeting of Selkirk Community Council, the CARS group’s Colin Gilmour said that demolition was the only way ahead, in preparation for a new build.

He said: “Negotiations between the owners and a third party are ongoing and they will reach a conclusion soon.

“The owners are applying for permission to demolish the building – which has never been the preferred option, but I have been inside the building and it’s probably for the best considering its condition.”

Colin said the CARS project had six other sites on the Priority Building Grants scheme – the former courthouse, 1 Tower St, the Auld Kirk, 3-5 Market Place, Scott’s Close and the Fleece.

He said work probably will not start until 2017 on the first two, while the upper floors had been redone on the Market Place property.

And he warned that there may be some disruption to the town as scaffolding for the work on windows and walls to be done at Scott’s Close will go around the corner into the High Street.

CARS has taken in £1,080,000 of funding in its five-year project.

And there will be one final round of applications – with a March 2017 cut-off – for repair and renovation, which will take up the rest of the funding.