Council turn to pub for town services hub

Cross Keys Inn, Selkirk
Cross Keys Inn, Selkirk

A ‘town centre hub’ for Selkirk is a step closer with the submission of a planning application by the council to convert the Cross Keys Inn.

The council is in the process of purchasing the property to assist the long term development of a regeneration project for Sir Walter Scott’s Court House, which would provide a refurbished visitor centre and potentially a range of ‘co-located services’.

In the short term, the former Cross Keys would be used to promote various regeneration initiatives in Selkirk.

This is being taken forward by Selkirk Regeneration Company.

Lawrence Robertson, director, said: “We can do great things when we work together. This shows how Selkirk people and organisations working with our council can turn a dreary problem into a bright asset for the town.”

The proposed regeneration hub will provide a central point to get information on things such as the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (Selkirk CARS), the flood prevention scheme, pop-up shops and the Royal Burgh’s Business Improvement District Scotland project (Selkirk BIDS).

The facility, to be run by Selkirk Regeneration Company with the assistance of Selkirk CARS, will also provide a central location for talks, exhibitions and presentations related to the developments.

It is intended that Selkirk CARS will operate a weekly drop-in for the public to find out more about potential grant funding for building repairs from the initiative or simply about maintaining a property.

Colin Gilmour, Selkirk CARS project officer, said: “Having a town centre location from which to promote the regeneration activities is ideal in terms of engaging with the public and encouraging them to understand what is being undertaken and how they can get involved.”

Councillor Vicky Davidson, executive member for culture, sport, youth and communities, added: “While there is plenty work still to do, the fact that the Cross Keys has been earmarked to be part of the court house regeneration project is an exciting prospect and demonstrates the council’s commitment to the development of Selkirk town centre.”