Galashiels is named the best shopping centre in Scotland.
Galashiels is the best shopping centre in Scotland, according to a report published by London-based property advisors.
The town takes top spot, ahead of Inverness in second place and Peebles in third, in a ‘vitality ranking’ compiled by the company Harper Dennis Hobbs.
Company CEO James Ebel admitted the rankings may come as a surprise to many but said covid-19 had changed the retail landscape.
He said: “The pandemic’s impact means that shopping destinations that would normally occupy the upper reaches of the list have fallen and been largely been replaced by more local shopping centres.”
The analysis found that the most ‘vital’ shopping centres are those that offer services vital to people’s lives – including grocers, pharmacies and hardware stores.
Despite its lofty ranking in Scotland, Gala did not break into the best top 25 UK shopping centres list – that is topped by Beaconsfield in south east England, followed by Henley-on-Thames, in the same location.
News of the accolade bestowed on Galashiels was welcomed by town councillor Euan Jardine.
He believes it demonstrates the town’s retail attractiveness.
Mr Jardine said: “It is great to see Galashiels at the top of the Scottish rankings. This shows that Galashiels is seen by many retail companies as a place where they can grow their business.
"With this ranking and a sharp increase in footfall predicted for Galashiels due to The Great Tapestry of Scotland it is perfect timing to reach out to retail companies in the hope that they will acknowledge the opportunities of being based in Galashiels.
"I have already started to write to several companies and I firmly believe that we can continue to develop the retail opportunities in the town especially on Channel Street.”
Elgin and Dingwall take up positions four and five on Scotland’s best shopping centres list.