Prosperity must come further down the line

Further evidence – as if any was needed – about the potential for the Borders Railway to kick-start an economic renaissance is presented this week on our business pages.

The creation of a new community of 4,000 homes at Shawfair on the outskirts of Edinburgh will take advantage of the rail link connecting the central Borders to the capital.

In the vanguard of this multi-million pound development is Buccleuch Property, part of Buccleuch Estates Ltd which is based at Bowhill, near Selkirk. The firm has also highlighted work to transform its Dalkeith Country Park via new cafes and an adventure play area.

While this is good news for all who wish to see the restored railway succeed, many Borderers will hope that such economic expansion won’t be long in coming further down the line right to its Tweedbank terminus and beyond.

During the fierce debate on whether part of the Waverley route should be reopened, one of the naysayers’ main arguments was that it would only serve to benefit Edinburgh and its expanding commuter belt. The Borders must derive more than just a boost to its population and housing stock.

The creation of locally-based jobs and increased tourist numbers would go a long way towards silencing the critics, some of whom would no doubt like this region to remain forever trapped in their sepia-tinged vision of a Borders Brigadoon.