Hawick’s Wilton Lodge Park will be alive with the sound of music again next summer as the town’s community council has secured funding for further concerts at its bandstand.
The community council has been granted £3,000 from the town’s common good fund to book acts to play at the park’s Zandra Elliot bandstand in summer 2020.
It already has eight acts lined up for this July and August, but this week’s cash boost has secured the future of the event for another year.
Hawick community councillor Brian Douglas appeared at the common good fund’s meeting at the town hall on Tuesday, May 28, to plead the council’s case, saying: “We’re trying to secure the bandstand events which we have planned for 2020.
“We have already organised eight events for this year, for the months of July and August, and the cost of that is running at about £2,500 or more, and that’s with the cost of insurance.
“If we can raise some more money, ring-fence it, then use it for going ahead, it secures the fixtures, which we feel are an asset to the town, not only to residents but to visitors as well.”
Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall was the first to support the proposals, saying: “I think it would be unthinkable to not have a programme of events up there at the bandstand, and townsfolk have come to expect there to be events on there.
“Anything that would attract people to the town, whether they are townsfolk or people coming to visit, should be encouraged, and I support this wholeheartedly.”
Hawick and Hermitage councillor Clair Ramage also supported the application, adding: “It’s really great to hear you’ll have some local bands coming and playing, and I fully support this.”
Councillors voted unanimously to approve the council’s application for £3,000.
The summer concerts were first organised by Scottish Borders Council, with sponsorship from Hawick’s Johnstons of Elgin textile factory, for three summers as part of its £3.64m regeneration of the park, but it has now withdrawn its financial backing other than via the common good fund overseen by its councillors for the town.
Performers featured to date include Dunblane-born singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean in 2016, fellow singer-songwriter Karine Polwart, from Banknock, near Falkirk, in 2017 and now-defunct Hawick folk-rock act Scocha last year.