Transport complex welcomed with open arms by businesses

Jack Clark, chairman of Scottish Borders Business Forum'Ewan Doyle, Project Manager for Scottish Borders Council'Councillor Stuart Bell, Executive Member for Economic Development
Jack Clark, chairman of Scottish Borders Business Forum'Ewan Doyle, Project Manager for Scottish Borders Council'Councillor Stuart Bell, Executive Member for Economic Development
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Business leaders joined councillors and MSPs this week at the Galashiels Transport Interchange being built in the centre of the town, writes Bob Burgess.

The £5.2million complex is seen as a key element of the Borders Railway, linking the Galashiels rail halt on the Tweedbank-Edinburgh line with a new bus station.

The European Regional Development Fund is paying £1.8million of the bill, with the rest coming from Scottish Borders Council.

Preliminary work started in September last year and construction began in June.

When building started council leader David Parker said the interchange would be a landmark building for Borderers and visitors travelling to and from the Borders Railway when it opens in September next year.

He added: “Its connection to the new bus station ties into the council’s long-term aim to promote better connections between all means of sustainable transport.”

During the meeting between business leaders and councillors at the site, the Scottish Borders Business Forum launched its new website.

And the forum’s chairman, auctioneer Jack Clark, said the complex would bring economic benefits for businesses and the communities they served.

Facilities will include waiting areas, offices for rent, a cafe, an interactive tourist information point and real-time information on trains and buses.

Mr Clark – whose body represents 40 associations – said: “With the return of the railway next September, this is a time of opportunity for the business community, and the Scottish Borders Business Forum is the united voice of that sector in the region.

“Our aim is to give critical mass to the diverse range of Borders businesses, enabling credible dialogue with decision makers at local, Scottish and UK levels.”

But he said that to be effective, the forum depended on input from the business community and he appealed for new members.”

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