1. ITV Report

£6.7m Tapestry visitor centre proposed for Galashiels

Artist impression of the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre Photo: Scottish Borders Council

A planning application has been submitted to create the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre in Galashiels.

The project proposes converting the Grade B listed former Post Office building.

This would be complemented by a new building designed by architects Page and Park.

If approved, it is estimated that the £6.7million visitor centre would help employ 16 FTE posts.

It is believed the development would also attract over 50,000 extra visitors to Galashiels every year.

This is said to provide additional annual spending of almost £900,000 to the local economy, supporting a further 17 FTE jobs.

The new visitor centre would include a new space for the Tapestry – a 143 metre long community arts project.

The project involved over 1,000 volunteers stitching the entire story of Scotland.

The application also includes plans to introduce art installations across the town centre.

These are said to encourage visitors from the nearby Borders Railway to visit the Tapestry, as well as increase the number of visitors and spending in Galashiels.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre already has funding of £2.5million from the Scottish Government.

The project is being delivered in close partnership with organisations such as Energise Galashiels, creative and business groups, Heriot-Watt University and Borders College.

SBC’s Executive Member for Economic Development said:

The submission of the planning application for the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre is the next step towards creating one of the most significant town centre economic development projects to take place in the Scottish Borders in recent years.

If approved, the visitor centre will be more than a home for the Great Tapestry, but also provide educational, retail and community facilities to benefit a wide variety of groups.

The visitor centre would also be the first stage of a long-term strategy to stimulate investment in the local economy, and it is pleasing that local groups are supportive of this approach.

The Council and partners are committed to continuing to engage with these groups to ensure they remain at the heart of the regeneration of Galashiels.”

– Councillor Mark Rowley, SBC’s Executive Member for Economic Development

If approved the visitor centre could be completed by spring 2020.