Time running out to help shape future of culture, sport and leisure facilities

Published: 8th August 2023

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The public engagement phase of a joint review by Scottish Borders Council and Live Borders of sport, leisure and cultural services and facilities has passed the half-way stage.

Over 1,800 people have so far given their feedback through an online survey, which is open until 29 August.

Five public engagement events have also taken place since the end of July, with four events remaining:

  • Eyemouth Community Centre - Tuesday 8 August
  • Selkirk Victoria Hall - Monday 14 August
  • Kelso Tait Hall - Tuesday 15 August 
  • Duns Southfield Community Centre - Thursday 17 August

Each event includes a drop-in session, open to all, from 2.30pm to 6pm, and a structured discussion from 7pm to 8.30pm which will include a short presentation. Places at the later sessions can be booked online.

For anyone not able to attend the face-to-face engagement events, online sessions will take place on Thursday 10 August and Tuesday 22 August. These can also be booked online.

Local people are urged to take this opportunity to influence the proposals and further decision-making by sharing what matters most to them.

Challenging times

The review comes at a time of unprecedented financial pressures across the entire leisure sector, due to high inflation, fast rising energy costs, a changing picture of service usage post pandemic, an ageing property portfolio and the need to work towards ‘net zero’ targets.

Alison Moore, Chair of Live Borders

“The number of responses received through the online survey is very positive, but there’s still the chance for those who have not yet given their feedback to do so, either through the survey or at the remaining engagement events.

“It is really important that we hear from people who use our facilities and services but also those that don’t. It is only through getting that wide ranging input that we’ll be able to work with the Council to ensure we deliver for all Borderers going forward.”

Council Leader, Councillor Euan Jardine

“The Joint Review is crucial to the future of our culture, sport and leisure services and facilities. That’s why we want as many local people and stakeholders as possible to have their say and provide their honest feedback on what is working well and what could be improved.”

Developing sustainable services

The joint review focuses on the quality, quantity, accessibility, affordability and ongoing sustainability of services and facilities owned by ourselves and operated by Live Borders. It will inform proposals for the sustainable future development and delivery of Live Borders services.

The review is expected to be complete by end of October this year and the outcome will result in a new joint agreement, replacing that put in place when Live Borders was established in 2016, and inform the 2024/25 service and budget planning process.

About Live Borders

Live Borders is the leisure, sport, and cultural trust for the Scottish Borders. Live Borders is a charity. At the heart of Live Borders is a commitment to making its communities healthier, happier and stronger. Every penny spent in its venues is reinvested into supporting active, creative, and healthy communities in the Scottish Borders. 

The Live Borders trust arrangements were originally established in 2003 with the formation of Borders Sports and Leisure Trust. The services delivered have been expanded over the years, including the addition of cultural and various community services in 2016 when Live Borders was set up.

Community sports provision at a number of new high school campuses and the addition of the Great Tapestry of Scotland in 2020 have also been added to the scope of Live Borders services in recent years.