Joint bid sees £22.8m Levelling Up Fund award

Published: 20th November 2023

Peebles town and bridge showing the river Tweed

Three local authorities, including ourselves, have been successful in a bid to the UK Government's Levelling Up Funding.

The UK Government’s Department for Levelling UP, Housing and Communities has today announced that Dumfries and Galloway Council, South Lanarkshire Council and ourselves will receive up to £22,809,416 for the Three Rivers Active Tourism Project.

Trio of projects

The successful bid made the case for investment on three projects, one to be led by each of the local authorities, and in partnership with other local and regional organisations.

All of the projects proposed within this bid built on the development and revitalisation of heritage and cultural assets and providing an opportunity for local communities and visitors to enjoy activities and sports and active lifestyles.

Peebles project

The funding will enable us to progress a project with partners and the community of Peebles to refurbish the Category A listed Chambers Institution in Peebles town centre.

This builds upon work undertaken by the Scottish Historic Building Trust which identified that the community and relevant local organisations had a shared desire for the historic building to be maintained and enhanced as a visitor attraction and as cultural heart of the community.

Councillor Euan Jardine, Leader of Scottish Borders Council

“I am delighted that our joint bid across the three authorities has been successful and that as part of that we’ll be able to progress with a transformational project in the centre of Peebles which will revitalise a much-loved local asset for the benefit of the community and our visitors.

“The collaboration and co-operation with our Dumfries and Galloway and South Lanarkshire colleagues has been very positive and provides the basis for continued working between the partners to develop the tourism offering and bring in additional tourists right across the area.”

Other projects

For Dumfries and Galloway Council, who are the overall lead on this bid, this means support for a project lead by the Annan Harbour Trust. This project is focusses on Annan Harbour, including the refurbishment of a B listed former warehouse (Collett’s Building) into a hub of activities including a workshop for heritage boat craft skills; a flexible café; meeting/community and event space and harbourside landscape improvements, including the construction of a new footbridge, to create a new focal point for water sports and activities for the local community and tourists.

Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Councillor Gail Macgregor

“This is fantastic news, and along with Dumfries and Galloway Council’s other successful Transport bid, this will be a game-changer for Annan Harbour and add to the regeneration of the town as a whole. With this funding, and thanks to the hard work of the Annan Harbour Trust, we will be able to bring the area’s cultural and natural heritage back to life, entice further tourism and rehabilitate vacant and derelict land, bringing with it a host of additional opportunities for the local economy and community. Developing this site will result in transformational physical, social and economic regeneration in a deprived area of Dumfries and Galloway.

"My thanks go out to our colleagues at Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire Councils for their support on this, it proves that we can achieve great things if we work together.”

South Lanarkshire Council Leader Joe Fagan

“I am delighted that our ambitious joint bid with colleagues in Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway has been successful. South Lanarkshire’s part of this bid is a vision for a brand new route for walkers and cyclists – the Clydesdale Way – that will hugely enhance connectivity across southern Scotland by joining up our communities and beauty spots with the Southern Upland Way, the River Ayr Way and the John Buchan Way.

“By improving and connecting our rural paths and cycle network we will transform access and connectivity within and between the communities of Leadhills, Abington, Douglas, Biggar Broughton and New Lanark, with a wide range of exciting benefits, most obviously tourism and the economic advantages it can bring, but also promoting health and wellbeing and social inclusion.”