Plans to re-energise the High Street are gathering pace, with the first special event pencilled in for the end of this month.
Last Monday’s meeting of Future Hawick, the town’s regeneration body, heard that members of Hawick Sings have been booked to entertain shoppers on Saturday, April 30, while several other dates have been earmarked with the aim of adding fresh impetus to the High Street through performances including jazz, poetry and opera.
Future Hawick’s High Street Group, formed by former town councillor Anne Borthwick, will run the ‘Let’s Meet on the Street’ initiative throughout the summer.
High Street Group member Evelyn Sangster told the meeting: “We’re planning to do various days on the High Street, like a Hawick Sings day, a poetry day when we have readings on the street, or beat on the street, or play on the street – just to try and drum up things on the High Street.
“We’re looking at various groups, and we have talked to Hawick Sings and they’re going to be doing it on the 30th of April from 10am to about noon at Trinity Gardens.
“For play on the street we’re hoping to do the 13th or 27th of August, while beat on the street will be for September, and we’re also going to try to resurrect some of the jazz [festival] and things like that.”
Mrs Sangster also said she was going to contact Debbie Lyons to see if they could get her [ACT1 youth theatre] group on the street, and the opera to see if they could so something.
She continued: “We’ve got these various ideas which we’ve been working on. We’ve been meeting every week to try and get this together, so it’s all just in the initial stages just now.
“We’ve also talked to traders and given them a questionnaire on what they want on the street. There was various things came out of that – a lot of them wanted the market on the street instead of at the Common Haugh, but they certainly wanted music on the street, they wanted activity on the street.
“Some of them were prepared to – if we were having something that particular day – give offers in their shops, like maybe a coffee with a free biscuit or whatever.
“The shops were quite keen to help and they’ve all got to work together.
“But there was no dissenting voices on the street, they were all quite keen that we [Future Hawick] were going around trying to do something.”
The ‘Let’s Meet on the Street’ scheme has been awarded a £1,500 budget from Future Hawick.
Also at last Monday night’s meeting, chairman Derick Tait updated members on work on a new town website, Hawick Living, which he said was about ready to go online.
“Adam Johnson, from Newstead, is doing it, and it’s basically to become a pan-Borders thing. There will also be a Melrose Living, a Kelso Living and a Galashiels Living.
“And Hawick Online [the town’s current official web-site] will become Hawick Living.”
Mr Tait added that Mr Johnson was happy with his £1,500 [fee].