The Great Tapestry of Scotland will be permanently based at a new purpose-built centre in Tweedbank, close to the new Borders railway, following a decision by Scottish Borders Council today (December 18).
Councillors considered a detailed business case and initial design for the project at the SBC meeting today, with the report being approved by 21 votes to 10 to ensure that the tapestry’s permanent home will be close to the main terminus of the Borders railway at Tweedbank, subject to planning permission being approved.
Speaking after the decision, Councillor David Parker, Leader of the council, said: “I am delighted that elected members have supported this project and we hope to provide a truly inspirational visitor centre that will act as a gateway to the Borders and encourage visitors not only to view the tapestry but to go to the many other visitor attractions throughout our region.
“We have worked hard to secure the tapestry for the Borders and there were many other locations in Scotland who were very keen to offer the tapestry a permanent home.
“We have been able to demonstrate to the tapestry trustees that our Borders proposal was a very unique and special one, and I was delighted earlier this year to secure the support of the Scottish Government who will be a major funder of the project.”
Councillor Stuart Bell, SBC’s executive member for economic development, added: “The business case and design of the proposed Tapestry Centre at Tweedbank was compelling and I have no doubt that we will provide a first-class national and international attraction that visitors to the Borders will want to see.
“The tapestry is not only a fantastic community arts project but it showcases the history of Scotland and it has been enormously well received wherever it has been displayed. The arrival of the new Borders railway will generate significant economic impetus to the Borders and the fact that we are able to attract a project of this nature before the railway’s arrival is a testament to our economic vision and effort.”
Cllr Iain Gillespie, who seconded Cllr Bell’s motion to support the tapestry proposal, said: “I am very pleased that this special tapestry will have its permanent home in the Scottish Borders.
“It is a truly magnificent work of art which will become a national treasure and I have no doubt that the many visitors to the tapestry will not only return to see it again, but will return to the Borders to see the many other attractions here.”
The council’s decision will mean that the new Tapestry Centre will be open to the public during 2016/17.