Kelso Square in with second shot at star status at national awards

Borders MP John Lamont in the Square in Kelso.
Borders MP John Lamont in the Square in Kelso.

Kelso Square is in with a second shot at being named one of the best high streets in the UK.

The town centre has been shortlisted in the rising star category of the Great British High Street awards for the second year on the trot, and businesses there are hoping it can go one better than last time round and claim the top prize.

It’s the only contender from the Borders vying for that prize and one of just seven in Scotland, along with 20 from elsewhere in the UK.

The winner of the accolade, to be decided by an online vote, will be announced in November, with up to £15,000 being handed out in prize money.

Votes can be cast at the UK Government ministry of housing, communities and local government-organised awards’ website, to be found at thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk

Visit Kelso chairperson Tina Newton is hoping the town will triumph second time round and is urging urging Borderers to give it their backing.

“This is the second year we’ve been nominated and shortlisted, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed,” she said.

“It would be fantastic for the town to win.

“It’s one of the friendliest towns I’ve ever been in.

“It’s got a great range of independent shops staffed by really knowledgeable people, and there’s a lot here for people to see and do.

“We’ve got the abbey, Floors Castle, the Borders Events Centre, amazing walks and glorious countryside.”

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP John Lamont is backing that plea for votes, adding: “Kelso is such a beautiful and diverse shopping centre, with a wide range of independent retailers and shops.

“Unfortunately, we hear so much in the news about our high streets struggling as consumers move to online and to out-of-town shopping.

“That’s why it is so important that we celebrate our local high streets and highlight the hard work and dedication of local business owners in keeping our local economy thriving.

“I hope that Borderers will get behind Kelso and help them win this great award.”