Vision of future for Galashiels to go on show in library

St Aidan's Church in Gala Park, Galashiels.
St Aidan's Church in Gala Park, Galashiels.

Visions of what the future might hold for Galashiels following the return of the Borders Railway have been drawn up by students and are about to go on display in the town.

For the past year, 14 architecture and design students at Edinburgh University have been focusing their trains of thought on what difference a second age of the railway will make for Galashiels.

As part of their postgraduate master’s degree course, the students, most of them from overseas, have been challenged to come up with a a sustainable vision for the town.

And the results of their efforts are on public display, under the title ‘Reimagining Galashiels: After the Railway’, in the town’s Lawyers’ Brae library.

“It has been an exciting and challenging project which I hope will stimulate much local interest,” said Ranald Boydell, a leading light of the Energise Galashiels voluntary trust and a visiting lecturer in the university’s department of architecture.

The trust was formed 18 months ago to help promote urban regeneration in a low-carbon-economy town far removed from what it used to be during its previous incarnation as a rail stop-off in the industrialised mid-19th century.

“The students, working individually and collectively, have come up with 10 separate visions for Galashiels going forward, both in the short and long term,” said Mr Boydell.

“These include the redevelopment of the former St Aidan’s Church in Gala Park and the transformation of the gasworks site at Galafoot as a centre, linked to Borders College, to teach young people construction skills.”

External examiners will visit the university this morning to assess the students’ projects. The displays will then be transported to the upstairs mezzanine area of Galashiels Library in for an invitation-only launch of an exhibition set to be open to the public for the next two weeks.