Souters set to be on the front line in the battle to save the planet

David Bethune outside the shop at 5 Tower Street.David Bethune outside the shop at 5 Tower Street.
David Bethune outside the shop at 5 Tower Street. | William McBurnie: mob: 07740720063 - - e: [email protected] Queens Cottage, Jedburgh TD8 6EP
Selkirk will shortly be leading the way in climate change action in the Borders following a grant of almost £140,000 from Holyrood.

The Selkirk Regeneration Company will use the £139,750 cash boost from the Scottish Government’s climate challege fund to run a community energy advice centre at its 5 Tower Street building for two years.

The former fish shop is due to be renovated as soon as the current restrictions end.

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The grant will fund two members of staff – a project coordinator and a home energy adviser – who will be based in the centre.

Recruiting for these posts is currently under way, with the closing date for applications being April 24, and it’s hoped that at least one of the posts will be filled by the end of next month. Anyone interested in applying should check or contact director and treasurer David Bethune on 01750 21703 for further details.

Mr Bethune said: “Once in post, our staff will aim to build contacts in the community; initially, this will need to be done through social media, phone and email, due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

“The staff will be able to provide advice (in partnership with Home Energy Scotland) to local residents (homeowners and tenants) on energy efficiency, reducing fuel bills, behaviour changes to reduce carbon footprint, installing renewable energy and encouraging more active travel, as well as mode switching to reduce environmental impact.

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“Once restrictions are lifted, free home visits will be possible to provide more specific advice.

“Our aim is to provide home visits for at least 200 households to provide specific advice on reducing energy use in the home.

“The staff will plan, organise, advertise and run workshops, information events and other community-based activities in cooperation with other community organisations and schools.”

The staff will also advise local businesses on energy matters, signposting them to appropriate agencies which can provide support.

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Volunteers will also be recruited to helpprovide advice, and a “Sustainable Selkirk” campaigning group will be established for ongoing support.

Mr Bethune added: “This is an exciting project, made possible with the support of the Scottish Government’s climate challenge fund, for the benefit of all residents of Selkirk and the surrounding area.”