Help at hand for town centres

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A three year town centre action plan for the Borders has been agreed, initially focusing on Hawick, followed by Jedburgh and Eyemouth.

With limited funds to spend on town centre regeneration Scottish Borders Council is targeting investment on the towns where it will have maximum impact.

Its aim is to enable businesses and communities to make positive changes and investment themselves, intervening where only the public sector can unlock opportunities or solve problems.

It will also signpost businesses and communities to funding and advice, build local capacity and encourage local leadership.

Gordon Henderson, senior development manager at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “This piece of work to look at 10 key Borders towns together in a single plan is a very welcome approach, and I’ll be watching i’s progress with interest.

“Our town centres must adapt with the times to ensure they remain relevant, and often this means alternatives to the old retail-only approach must be explored.”

Eyemouth and Jedburgh are described as the next least resilient towns, and Tweeddale east councillor Stuart Bell said: “There are various elements in Eyemouth that we have been working towards for some time.

“Through the new approach, we will be able to provide more dedicated resources to make a long-term positive impact on the town.”