Tapestry free for one day

The Great Tapestry of Scotland is free to view on the afternoon of Friday, September 9. Photo: Phil Wilkinson.The Great Tapestry of Scotland is free to view on the afternoon of Friday, September 9. Photo: Phil Wilkinson.
The Great Tapestry of Scotland is free to view on the afternoon of Friday, September 9. Photo: Phil Wilkinson.
While the Great Tapestry of Scotland has been open for almost a year, the facility in the centre of Galashiels is to celebrate its official opening on Friday, September 9, by offering free entry to all.

The free family gala day will take place in the visitor centre and the square directly outside it, and will feature entertainment for all ages including live music, carnival style street entertainment, puppet shows and workshops, bubbleology, craft workshops, textile demonstrations, a solar-powered cinema in a converted caravan and much more.

Entry to the Tapestry’s visitor centre will be free for everyone from noon to 5pm and, exclusive to the event, some of the biggest stars from Scotland’s history, as featured on the Tapestry itself, will be brought back to life to tell their stories on the day.

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Revellers will also be given the opportunity to add a stitch to a new welcome panel for the Galashiels Transport Interchange, which has been commissioned by the Borders Railway Community Partnership and designed by the Tapestry artist Andrew Crummy, to tell some of the great Borders’ stories.

Ewan Jackson, CEO of Live Borders.Ewan Jackson, CEO of Live Borders.
Ewan Jackson, CEO of Live Borders.

Speaking about the event, Ewan Jackson, CEO of the visitor centre’s operator Live Borders, said: “Almost a year since its soft launch, it is fantastic to hear how The Great Tapestry of Scotland is already supporting the local business economy and wellbeing of all those who visit.

“From Energise Galashiels Trust’s ‘Tapestry Way’ initiatives and the Borders Railway Community Partnership’s development of a welcome panel for Galashiels’ Transport Interchange to the warmth of welcome our visitors receive, community support is all fundamental to this success, encouraging repeat visits and onward recommendations for people to visit the area.

"Our Great Tapestry Gala, funded by Scottish Borders Council, is designed to recognise and celebrate this vital support.

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“It’s important to us, particularly in these tough times, that the whole community has an opportunity to enjoy the celebrations.”

Centre Director Sandy Maxwell Forbes added: “We are delighted now to be able to officially celebrate the opening of our five-star visitor attraction, where Scotland’s story begins, and to properly thank the local community and all our supporters with our free Great Tapestry Gala.

“We’ve been building up to this moment since our soft launch in 2021. Our team has navigated through a global pandemic, a nationwide hospitality recruitment shortage and the ongoing cost of living crisis to create one of the nation’s top-rated visitor experiences right here in Galashiels, the Heartland of the Scottish Borders.

“We are all the more resilient for all we’ve been through and thrilled now to begin ramping things up, starting with The Great Tapestry Gala. We hope it will create a fantastic carnival atmosphere for our new hometown.”

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