Executive committee to plan regeneration

Councillor Stuart Bell, SBC executive member for economic development.
Councillor Stuart Bell, SBC executive member for economic development.

Plans to regenerate the region’s town centres will be discussed by members of Scottish Borders Council’s executive committee on Tuesday, March 7.

In October 2016 the council agreed to establish the rolling three-year plan, which targets resources, actions and key projects in a selection of priority towns, identified through the Council’s Town Centre Index, which draws together a wide range of statistics.

The proposed 2017/18 plan looks to focus on Hawick, Jedburgh, Eyemouth, Galashiels and Selkirk. The plan will be agreed on an annual basis.

Councillor Stuart Bell, SBC’s executive member for economic development, said: “This is a new approach for the council and proposes the use of targeted resources and partnership working to deliver focused regeneration activities in our towns in greatest need of intervention and investment.

“The actions and projects proposed would have significant economic impacts or wider benefits in the respective town centres and at this time are targeting empty properties, key site development, marketing, event and tourism development, inward investment and business support.

“While we are initially proposing to focus on five priority towns, the action plan is adaptable and we will seek to take advantage of new opportunities wherever they may arise and where a positive economic impact can be achieved.”

The proposed actions include the following.

Hawick

● Inward investment marketing pilot.

● Development of modern business space in the town centre.

● Development of a Townscape Heritage bid and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) bid.

Jedburgh

● £1.3m CARS programme – following successful bid (see below).

● Town centre marketing support.

Eyemouth

● Town centre regeneration programme, including progress and implement Eyemouth Harbour Road Masterplan.

● Town centre review with local community and partners.

Galashiels

● Inward investment marketing pilot.

● Burgh Yard development.

● Borders Railway Ambassadors project.

● Support Galashiels Business Improvement District Scotland (BIDS) proposals (see below).

● Masterplanning for town centre.

Selkirk

● Deliver streetscape works.

● Progress Sir Walter Scott Courthouse project.

● Support Selkirk BIDS proposals.

Councillor Bell added: “These are just a few of the ways in which the council will support these town centres, with a range of other community planning partnership regeneration activity and investment also taking place.”