The economic challenges and opportunities facing east Berwickshire are on the local authority’s radar and a working group has been set up to focus activity on them.
Scottish Borders Council’s recent budget highlighted the need to address the specific issues faced in Eyemouth and east Berwickshire as well as Hawick and this week the first step was taken - creating two working groups, one of them being the Eyemouth and East Berwickshire Economic Regeneration Group.
SBC’s executive member for business and economic development Councillor Mark Rowley will chair the groups and the three east Berwickshire councillors are on the local working group.
Councillor Rowley said: “This is one of the most exciting initiatives of the new administration - it puts a real focus from councillors onto areas that our officers have assessed as being most in need of active help and regeneration.
“Eyemouth and parts of east Berwickshire face significant challenges, but they also offer huge opportunities for development.
“Eyemouth harbour, the A1, East Coast mainline and Reston Station are critical pieces of infrastructure that should sustain a vibrant economy accessible to Edinburgh, Newcastle and London.
“My intention is that the group will act quickly. It will look for input from key local businesses, undertake real engagement with stakeholders and will focus on what is needed to deliver for the area now but also be aware of the emerging opportunities.
“It is an exciting time, but it is vital that we focus resources to where they are needed. I’m delighted that Scottish Borders Council has agreed that there is a strong need to focus activity on Eyemouth and its east Berwickshire hinterland.
“We plan to start work soon and are already engaging with stakeholders who can help us deliver for the area.”
In the early 2000s EU funded regeneration projects in Eyemouth and Hawick, resulted in £7.70 being attracted into Eyemouth for every £1 of SBC and Scottish Enterprise Borders funding.