NEW life will be breathed into empty shop premises in Galashiels at noon tomorrow when the town’s laird John Scott will cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of a new information centre, dedicated to transforming the town’s fortunes, writes Andrew Keddie.
The Info Hub, described as a not-for-profit community interest venture, is the brainchild of Zimbabwean-born businesswoman Lynda Stoddart who secured the property, formerly home to Eildon Travel at 2 Channel Street, in July.
Tomorrow’s launch will be preceded by an hour of entertainment, featuring Gala shiels Town Band, pipers and Irish dancers.
“They reflect just some of the huge amount of community activity which exists, too often in isolation, in Galashiels,” said Mrs Stoddart, who has lived in the town for five years and runs her own business, offering human resources support to small to medium-sized companies.
The hub will have a What’s On wall advertising events – both regular and one-off – and organisations, and will offer a central location for the distribution of tickets to shows, concerts and other events.
With her assistants Ruth McDonnell, who formerly worked with the Home Basics charity in Walkerburn, and ex-Braw Lass Tracy Borthwick, Mrs Stoddart will run the hub from 10am till 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and from 1 till 4pm on Sunday.
“We want to promote the town and district of Galashiels through its people, past and present, who have made it the fantastic environment we find ourselves living in today,” she told us.
She added: “We also want to work in partnership with local groups and individuals to promote existing community activities and identify new ones. We will also showcase local crafts and endeavour to raise the profile of the town as a wonderful visitor destination.”
The venture will be funded through a regular 50-50 lottery scheme with half the income going to the lucky winner and half going to sustain the hub, community events and activities.
“It means that if you don’t win, you can still benefit from the proceeds,” explained Mrs Stoddart.