Group set up to boost Hawick campus

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A WORKING group has been set up in a bid to attract more students and courses to the Hawick college campus.

The sparse provision of evening classes at the £4.2million facility has come under close scrutiny in recent weeks, with just cake decorating and sugar paste flowers, cooking around the world, hand embroidery, hooked on crochet and a mind and body general workout among the only courses available during the latest session.

This compared to 40 classes of all varieties in Galashiels and more practical subjects available in Duns, Jedburgh, Kelso and Peebles.

College principal Liz McIntyre has previously said the offerings are a result of supply and demand.

While education development and employability skills are also accessed by a wide range of people, the latest initiative, set up from the Hawick Development Group, is to look into ways of increasing the choice and numbers at the Buccleuch Road campus.

A College spokesperson said: “The objectives of the group are to work together to see what needs to be done to identify the College services that the people of Hawick need and want.

“The group will focus on economic development and community regeneration as well as collecting feedback from local people to inform a future plan for the Hawick Campus.

“This is a real opportunity to further enhance the current opportunities being enjoyed by students studying business administration, IT, carpentry and joinery, care and childcare, textiles and psychology at the Hawick Campus.”

The group includes local councillors George Turnbull and Ron Smith as well as Scottish Borders Council’s head of economic development and regeneration. The first meeting will take place on Monday.

Councillor Turnbull said: “Full utilisation of this impressive new building has to be paramount to achieve the very best from this facility to the benefit of all ages and from across the Borders.”