Priority towns for regeneration get funding boost

People walking in Galashiels.

Published: Wednesday, 04th September 2019

We are welcoming funding support from the Scottish Government through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership, for the recruitment of Community Enterprise Managers in priority regeneration towns.

Priority regeneration towns

  • Eyemouth
  • Hawick
  • Jedburgh
  • Galashiels

The pilot project has been awarded £510,000.

Community Enterprise Managers pilot scheme

It will see specialist advisors work with the local communities to support new and developing projects. These will have a positive local economic impact in towns and locations across the South of Scotland.  

The project is a pilot for 12 months with lessons learned planned to be fed back. This will help to develop community support within the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency. 

We will work with host organisations in each of the four towns in the Scottish Borders to recruit appropriate staff and deliver the project.  Community Enterprise Managers will be in place by late autumn.

Investment in Galashiels

In addition to this support, £72,500 has also been awarded through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership for a partnership project in Galashiels. The project will deliver some elements of the former Galashiels Business Improvement District (BID) plan to support the regeneration of the town and enhance the visitor experience.

The £310,000 ‘Building a Better Galashiels’ project has received funding from the Council, Energise Galashiels, the private sector and community contributions.

It has four main themes:

  • developing events and attractions
  • promoting a vibrant Galashiels
  • creating a welcoming environment
  • business development

Councillor Mark Rowley, Executive Member for Business and Economic Development

“This project is a fantastic opportunity to support communities to deliver new services and projects which will ultimately generate greater economic impacts within their towns.

“This is over and above the Council’s own regeneration funding and support and will help those very active local business and community groups in Eyemouth, Hawick, Jedburgh and Galashiels to take forward more projects and ideas to improve their towns.

“In the Highlands and Islands this type of support has proved invaluable, and this is a chance to test if this type of approach can be adapted to suit some of the unique challenges we face in the south of Scotland.”

"The Council is fully committed to working with local and national partners to support the regeneration of Galashiels town centre.  One of our key investments, the development of the Great Tapestry of Scotland Visitor Centre, is a first step to realising this.  The local business community is keen to build on that and continue to develop Galashiels as a vibrant visitor destination. 

“Through events like Galashiels Goes Extreme and the soon-to-be-launched Coulter’s Candy statue and town trail, the community has shown the potential that a co-ordinated effort can have to bring in people from across the Scottish Borders and beyond to Galashiels, and there are many fantastic opportunities to do even more to make Galashiels a destination town.  This project will help to bring some of those about and provide a clear direction going forward and I’d encourage all the town’s businesses, local stakeholders and community groups to get behind these efforts.

“This project and its community approach, if successful, could act as a pilot for similar schemes elsewhere in the Scottish Borders and south of Scotland as a whole, which is of particular importance ahead of the establishment of South of Scotland Enterprise next April.”

Mike Gray, Energise Galashiels

“Energise Galashiels is determined to help create a more vibrant, confident and inviting community, and this project and various other efforts under the umbrella of ‘Tomorrow’s Galashiels’ and the support of partners will help us achieve those aims.

“The efforts of the town’s business community is vital going forward, and despite the disappointment of the BID ballot result the ongoing commitment to increasing footfall, making the town centre more welcoming to shoppers and visitors and attracting new businesses is unwavering, because they all understand how important that is to their own futures.”