Selkirk’s shiny new town centre was marked on Saturday, with the official opening of the town’s Market Place and the switching on of its Christmas lights.
What was a full day of festive fun culminated in the official opening of the £450,000 Selkirk Streetscape Scheme and renovated Sir Walter Scott Courthouse, marked by a ribbon cutting ceremony, with the iconic building’s refurbished clock faces and stained glass window switched on for the occasion.
Logan Fairbairn, Rowland’s Year of the Young Person winner, carried out the ribbon cutting duties immediately prior to the Christmas lights switch on, with hundreds of local people in attendance.
Logan said: “I have always wanted to be involved in the Christmas lights switch-on, so I am thrilled to take part this year and help open the new look town centre and courthouse.”
The £431,000 courthouse restoration was the centrepiece of the Selkirk Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) and has safeguarded the town centre building – where Sir Walter Scott dispensed justice to the people of Selkirkshire in the early 19th century – for many years to come.
Works on the building were extended thanks to additional funding from Selkirk Common Good and Scottish Borders Council and included repairs to the cockerel weather vane, refurbishment of the clock faces and repairs to its defective stonework.
The Streetscape scheme brought with it such improvements as safer access for bus passengers, better seating, improved pedestrian crossings, better road surfacing for drivers and provision for Market Place to host events and markets, such as the monthly farmers’ market, which has proved very popular.
In a joint statement, Selkirkshire councillors Gordon Edgar, Caroline Penman and Elaine Thornton-Nicol, said: “We are delighted both of these projects have now concluded and as we head into a bright future for Selkirk, it was fantastic to have one of our young people take part in the official opening.
“The works to the courthouse will ensure the long-term future of the building, which is iconic to Selkirk and the town’s proud links to Sir Walter Scott.
“It also marks the final works of Selkirk CARS, which has invested over £1million in the town centre and revitalised a number of properties.
“The Selkirk Streetscape Scheme has led to a wide variety of improved facilities in Market Place for local people, which are already helping to attract more visitors to the Royal Burgh.
“Thanks are due to all who contributed to both projects and to the local businesses and residents for their patience, while both schemes were completed.”