Galashiels is one of 34 towns from right across the UK selected for a programme aimed at regenerating the high street.
The scheme – entitled Business in the Community’s Healthy High Streets – aims to increase footfall by 10%, reduce the number of vacant properties by 20% and stimulate the creation of new jobs in 100 towns over three years.
The programme launched in June 2014 and is backed by some of the UK’s biggest high street brands, including Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander along with new partners EE, Exterion Media and Greggs.
Following the addition of this latest batch, the total number of participating high streets to 67.
Galashiels will receive a bespoke package of support, including access to skills and expertise, and dedicated high street champions from supporting businesses who will work together with the local partnership team, local authority and relevant local partners to devise an action plan to address the specific challenges facing the town.
Commenting on the programme’s expansion, Robin Foale, managing director, Santander Business Banking, and chair of the Healthy High Streets programme said “Congratulations to Galashiels on being chosen to be part of the Healthy High Streets programme.
“This is a great opportunity to work with the business partners and the local High Street Champions to transform the town and create a thriving, vibrant centre for the local community.”
Business in the Community’s Peter Donohoe said: “One of the most powerful ways for business to make an impact in communities is by creating high streets that are vibrant places to live, work and do business.
“It has been heartening to see first-hand the practical difference that collaborative, business-led action can make on UK high streets in just one year. While there is much be proud of about our High Streets Programme we also know that there is more work to be done. We warmly welcome Greggs, EE and Exterion Media as programme partners and look forward to working with Galashiels to create lasting change.”
The value of investment into all 33 year 1 towns was £9 million, made up of investment in property upgrades, the cost of High Street Champions time and senior management support.