New Eyemouth harbour bridge

A aerial view of Eyemouth harbour
A aerial view of Eyemouth harbour

Eyemouth Harbour Trust’s new year has got off to a good start, with an £84,088 grant to build a new harbour bridge.

The trust is one of six Borders groups to receive a total of £190,476 of funding from the SSE and Clyde Wind Farm Ltd Scottish Borders Sustainable Development Fund which supports employability, community empowerment, and built and natural environment projects.

The new harbour bridge will improve accessibility for local people and enhance harbour use for fishermen and processors.

Eyemouth Harbour Trust’s business manager, Christine Bell, said: “We are delighted to hear that the trust’s application to SSE SDF has been successful.

“The funding will enable us to protect and enhance a vital part of Eyemouth’s infrastructure, namely a walking/cycling route that depends on a bridge to link two sides of the town across the harbour. The project will bring a range of social, economic and environmental benefits to the town.”

Coldstream Community Trust is to receive £10,000 for preliminary work in the possible conversion of Keith House, next door to the town’s community centre, into two affordable housing units.

“It is to cover various professional costs involved in clarifying the feasibility of the project,” explained trust chairman Rannoch Daly.

A £13,080 grant will go to Young Enterprise Scotland’s Borders company programme which aims to give school pupils aged 16-18 years, entrepreneurial experiences, and help them develop transferable skills and improve their career aspirations.

Other beneficiaries include Garvald Farm, a social enterprise providing home to approximately 18 adults, some with learning disabilities, living and working together. They have been provided with £39,908 to improve and develop the farm’s capacity to produce and take to market sustainable biodynamic produce.

Hawick Rugby Club is getting £12,500 to conduct a feasibility study into methods to preserve, store and display 15,000 items of historic HRFC and Bill McLaren Foundation rugby memorabilia; and Bird Gardens Scotland CIC get £31,000 to install a visitor centre, creating a hub for the surrounding community.

Decisions on the final awards were made by an independent panel led by former First Minister Lord Jack McConnell.

Lord McConnell said: “The panel were really pleased to receive good quality applications and we have chosen six projects that will invest in the economic potential of the Borders.

“Tourism, entrepreneurship, housing and physical infrastructure all contribute to creating sustainable jobs in local communities. We wish them well in 2018.”