South Scotland

Tapestry centre work to start in Galashiels 'in weeks'

Tapestry centre artist's impression Image copyright Scottish Borders Council
Image caption Work is set to start on building the new centre in the coming weeks

Work on a £6.7m permanent home for the Great Tapestry of Scotland is set to start within weeks.

Scottish Borders Council has released new images of how the visitor attraction in Galashiels will look.

Stirling-based Ogilvie Construction has been appointed to build the "landmark facility".

Once completed, it is hoped the visitor attraction will create 16 new jobs and bring about 50,000 visitors a year to the area.

Image copyright Scottish Borders Council
Image caption It is hoped the new facility can attract 50,000 visitors a year to the area

It is part of a wider regeneration project including a town trail and sculpture of Robert Coltart, the author of Ally Bally Bee.

Mark Rowley, the council's executive member for business and economic development, said: "This is a hugely exciting time for Galashiels and the Scottish Borders.

"I am delighted we now have an experienced and trusted contractor in place to take forward the building of this nationally-significant attraction, with the artist impressions indicating it will be a stunning piece of architecture in Galashiels town centre.

"Jobs will be created during construction of the facility alongside a wide range of social, economic and educational benefits once the building opens to the public."

Image copyright Scottish Borders Council
Image caption New images show how the visitor centre would look

Alistair Moffat of the tapestry trustees said it could act as an "engine for renewal".

"As large-scale retail moves to the periphery of towns and cities, it is magnetic cultural attractions like the tapestry that will bring back life to the centres of these beautiful places," he said.

"The huge success of the V&A in Dundee, attracting 500,000 visitors in six months, doubling estimates, is only the latest example of how well this strategy works."

Image copyright Scottish Borders Council
Image caption Tapestry trustees said the centre could act as an "engine for renewal" in the Borders town

More on this story