Galashiels community councillors weighing up twin-track approach to boost tourism

Community councillors in Galashiels are set to explore options to better market it as a tourist destination, including possibly twinning with a town in England.

Huddersfield Street in Galashiels.
Huddersfield Street in Galashiels.

That move comes after Judith Cleghorn, chairperson of Galashiels Community Council, saw a sent-in photograph of the 2018 Braw Lad and Braw Lass, Greg Kelly and Kimberley O’May, shown on the Channel 4 programme Sunday Brunch.

She told the latest meeting of the community council: “I don’t think the presenters knew where Galashiels was, never mind about the braw lad and lass.

“I was so disappointed that they didn’t know anything about it, but then why would they?

“They are 300 miles away, but 300 miles isn’t that far these days. Should we be doing something to market it in England?”

Mrs Cleghorn said that the community council had previously talked about finding a twin town for Galashiels.

“Other towns in the Borders are twinned with places in France or Germany, but Gala isn’t twinned with anywhere,” she said. “Is this a trick we are missing?”

And Mrs Cleghorn believes a suitable twin town would not have to be thousands of miles away.

“Why can’t we twin with somewhere in England? For instance, Huddersfield? We have got Huddersfield Street here – it’s not called Huddersfield Street for nothing.

“We could arrange sports fixtures and things between the two places.”

Drew Tulley also felt that more should be done to market Galashiels outside the town.

Referring to last month’s third Scottish Borders Walking Festival, he said: “Walking is big business. It’s a big issue, and it needs publicising. I never see anything about Gala.”

Harry Scott, one of three councillors for Galashiels at Scottish Borders Council, added: “I think we have a shocking service from VisitScotland. It’s all Highland cows and kilts.

“I have to really search on their website to find anything about the Borders.”