No tapestry alternatives explored, says council

Scottish Borders Council has admitted that no buildings in Hawick, Galashiels and Selkirk were surveyed or inspected before a wooded area next to the Tweedbank rail terminus was selected for a purpose-built centre to host the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

In December last year the council agreed to contribute £3.5m towards the £6m capital costs of the new building, having previously commissioned consultants to carry out a £40,000 study looking solely at the Tweedbank site.

In March, SBC received a Freedom of Information request seeking details and dates of any surveys or inspections carried out by or on behalf of the council on any buildings in the three towns “to ascertain if any of these premises were suitable for adaptation.”

Confirming that no such studies took place, the council responded last week: “Officers and consultants utilised existing knowledge and information already held by the council in coming to the conclusions utilised in the report and business case considered by council on December 18, 2014.”

○Budding writers of all ages are being reminded that the deadline for the Waverley Lines creative writing competition is Friday 26 June.

The theme of the competition is in the spirit of the re-opening of the Borders Railway. The initiative is being run by SBC and its creative writing magazine The Eildon Tree.