There can be no doubt that it is essential that a permanent home for the Great Tapestry of Scotland should be found in the Borders.
As a Tweeddale councillor, I could make a strong case for Peebles or Innerleithen. I expect that the Selkirk and Hawick councillors could make an equally strong case for their towns.
The reality is that there is no possibility of any of these worthy options being considered because the decision has already been made to house the tapestry at Tweedbank railway station. This decision has been made without any detailed consideration by the 34 elected Scottish Borders councillors.
My own view is that Tweedbank is the least best option, particularly when it is considered that a mile or so away in Galashiels a great deal of council money has been spent upgrading the town centre. We should remember that the platform at the Galashiels railway station is to be lengthened to accommodate the expected influx of tourists. We have to ask why upgrade Galashiels station if the tourists are going to be encouraged to go to Tweedbank.
I understand that the large new transport interchange building has the first and second floors available. It may be possible for part of that building to be used as a visitor centre, or alternatively it could be incorporated at a new development at the old Burgh Yard. Both of these possibilities have the advantage of being near the town centre with its imposing war memorial, fountain and beautiful Bank Street Gardens.
The tapestry would hopefully attract thousands of extra tourists to the town, with a knock-on advantage to its economy. We could look forward to souvenir shops springing up to fill some of the many empty premises in the town centre, along with cafes, bistros, restaurants and the like.
The transport links to the many tourist attractions throughout the Borders will be every bit as good if not better than Tweedbank.
I am certain in my own mind that if the Great Tapestry of Scotland can be housed in the centre of a vibrant town, instead of near a remote industrial estate, the whole of the tourist industry in the Borders will receive an enormous boost.