Valley residents urged to have their say to kickstart regeneration bid

Julie Nockappointed to revitalise theEttrick and Yarrow Valleys by the Southern Uplands Partnership
Julie Nockappointed to revitalise theEttrick and Yarrow Valleys by the Southern Uplands Partnership

LOCAL residents wanting an input into the regeneration of the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys have until tomorrow to reply to a questionnaire on the area’s future.

Valleys regeneration officer Julie Nock is urging those living and working there to answer the questions which are available online (www.sup.org.uk), or on questionnaires found in local cafes, hotels and tourist attractions.

She said: “The two-year Leader-funded project has been instigated to try to alleviate some of the problems valleys residents face. It would be easy to write a list, but I wanted to hear from people personally about the good and bad points of living in the valleys.

“I have had some insightful responses from a great number of residents and as the deadline draws nearer I wanted to remind those that haven’t filled it in to get it back soon.

“I would like to hear everyone’s views before compiling a list of topics to begin work on.”

Concerns expressed so far include the need for a valleys bus service, better internet access and mobile phone reception.

Ms Nock continued: “People want faster internet speeds and access as many struggle, making it impossible to do simple things like view something on iplayer, and with virtually no mobile reception in either valley people are concerned for their health and safety.

“People have suggested various tourism projects to encourage visitors to the valleys, including a valleys craft shop/association, a museum and organised tours.”

She said that when asked what they like most about living in the valleys almost everyone replied “peace, quiet and stunning scenery”. Ms Nock will compile the data from the questionnaires and present the information to public meetings in halls in the valleys at the beginning of next month.

Scheduled dates so far are: August 1 at St Mary’s Cappercleuch; August 3 at Kirkhope Hall, Ettrickbridge; August 4 at Boston Hall, Ettrick; August 8 at Yarrowford Hall; August 9 at Yarrowfeus Hall.