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New schools for Galashiels and Kelso

Two new schools will be built by April 2017 after Scottish Borders Council agreed to put significant funds towards replacing Broomlands Primary in Kelso and Langlee Primary in Galashiels.

The funding is a result of the Scottish Government’s decision to allocate an additional £330million to the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.

As a consequence of Scottish Futures Trust increasing its funding contribution from 66% of the cost of Kelso High School to 100%, this has released approximately £6.4m of the Council’s own capital funds which will allow the acceleration of the capital investment programme to deliver the two new schools.

A condition of the funding is that the projects must be completed by April 2017.

“This is excellent news for the Borders, and for Kelso and Galashiels in particular. Our children and teachers deserve the best environment for teaching and learning that we can provide, and this financial backing will certainly help that."

– Cllr Sandy Aitchison, Executive Member for Education

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Dreamflight for children with serious illnesses

It's been described as the trip of a lifetime for children with serious illnesses and disabilities.

Every year, the charity Dreamflight takes nearly 200 8-14 year-olds to Orlando in Florida, where they'll visit theme parks, meet Mickey Mouse and other characters, and even go swimming with dolphins.

A number of children from our region are on the trip.

They flew out at the weekend, and our reporter Lauren Hall was there to wave them off.

Peter Pan plans come to life

Dumfries and Galloway Council has approved proposed designs for Moat Brae House and garden as a National Centre for Children's Literature in Dumfries.

Author J.M Barrie spent a lot of time at the house, and the gardens are where he drew his inspiration for the story of Peter Pan.

The Moat Brae Trust say they are happy and relieved at the decision.

Crime group launches in South Cumbria

South Cumbria Acquisitive Crime Group launches Credit: PA

A new crime initiative launches in South Cumbria today, in a bid to reduce the number of burglaries in the region.

The South Cumbria Acquisitive Crime Group will focus on rural and agricultural crime, and it's led by the South Lakeland and Barrow Community Safety Partnerships.

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Talks 'Constructive' says Lord Smith

Talks began today in Edinburgh. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Speaking after convening the first cross-party talks on more powers for the Scottish Parliament, Lord Smith said:

“I was pleased with our meeting today. We have good people round the table, each with their own deeply held views, who have committed to work together to achieve a positive outcome to this process.''

“We had a constructive discussion and agreed some important principles, which will guide us towards an agreement on a package of substantial and cohesive new powers to strengthen the Scottish Parliament within the UK.”

– Lord Smith
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