SBC dashes co-ordinator hopes

Councillor Watson McAteer
Councillor Watson McAteer

Scottish Borders Council says it has no plans to fund a town centre co-ordinator to boost the regeneration of Hawick High Street.

The Hawick News reported renewed calls last week
for the town to have its own co-ordinator after a tourism audit commissioned by
SBC said both Hawick and Gala were in need of regeneration.

Councillor Watson McAteer called for partity between the two towns and said a paid town centre manager was essential if the regeneration initiative was to suc-ceed.

But a statement from council HQ this week dashed any hopes.

A local authority spokesperson said: “Scottish Borders Council has no plans at present to introduce a new town centre co-ordinator in Hawick or any town across the Borders.

In addition to the significant investment already made in Hawick, we are now working with Future Hawick to make sure the £30,00
 recently made available to support the High Street is targeted as effectively as possible.”

But Mr McAteer responded this week, saying: “‘It’s a constant disappointment that Scottish Borders Council will not place Hawick on
the same footing as Galashiels.

“External advisors have identified the need for Hawick and Gala town centres to be radically improved but it looks like Hawick will have to do so with one hand tied behind her back.”

The council commissiomned a tourism audit last year and it drew parallels between the two towns and highlighted the need for regeneration.

Last year, we broke the news that the council has funded a £70,00 two-year town centre manager for Galashiels.

“The council then responded by offering Future Hawick £30,000 to bolster its High Street regeneration
bid.