Decision on home for Great Tapestry of Scotland now set to be made next month

A decision on whether or not to create a permanent home for the Great Tapestry of Scotland in Galashiels is now set to be made in December.

Monday, 7th November 2016, 11:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:09 pm
The old post office Building in Channel Street, Galashiels.

Scottish Borders councillors were originally due to choose in September whether to try to press ahead with their original plan to site a tapestry visitor centre in Tweedbank, ditch that proposal in favour of a town centre location in Galashiels or pull the plug on the project altogether.

They postponed making a decision then until this week, however, as more details were needed about how the centre would be paid for, and that date has now been pushed further back, until Thursday, December 15.

Leaderdale and Melrose councillor David Parker, leader of the council, said: “The decision elected members will take regarding the future of the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre is a significant one which will be subject to a great deal of public scrutiny.

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“It is therefore entirely appropriate that we have as much detail available to us as possible when we make our final decision and consider the options available for the project.

“We now believe that decision can be made next month.

“This will enable all due diligence work to be completed.”

The Galashiels proposal now looking the favourite to get the go-ahead would see the town’s old post office building in Channel Street brought back into use and the former Poundstretcher store next door in High Street demolished, with a new building being created in its place linked to the post office.

That plan would be expected tocome with a £7.1m price-tag, however – £1.1m more than the centre originally proposed at Tweedbank.

The report to next month’s full council meeting will be presented in public rather than behind closed doors, as was originally planned.

The 469ft-long tapestry, completed in 2013, is made up of 160 emroidered panels, a dozen of them stitched by volunteers in the Borders.

Both Tweedbank and Galashiels were among the locations at which panels for the tapestry, designed by Andrew Crummy, were stitched, along with Stow, Lauder, Hawick, St Boswells, Jedburgh, Melrose, Kelso, Coldstream, Tweedmouth, Ednam, Gordon, Duns, Smailholm, Gordon, Peebles, Selkirk and West Linton.