Fury erupts over tapestry decision

The Tapestry of Scotland will be housed at the new railway station at Tweedbank despite the fact that a £40,000 feasibility study aimed at finding the work of art a home won’t be finished until October.

In a visit to Tweedbank last week First Minister Alex Salmond revealed that the first trains to the Borders since 1969 will run on September 6 next year.

And he further revealed that this would be followed by “significant expansion” when a visitor centre for the Tapestry of Scotland opens in the new Tweedbank station at the end of 2016.

Council leader David Parker was delighted at the announcement: “Having the Great Tapestry of Scotland situated at the Tweedbank terminus will be something very special indeed.

“A great many people will take the ‘Train to the Tapestry’ and also visit the Borders and its many other attractions.”

Councillors voted 21-7 in May to award Jura Consultants the job of carrying out the feasibility study but now that an announcement has been made, one man who campaigned to bring the tapestry to Hawick is furious.

Callants Club President Derick Taid said: “While it was not unexpected, Hawick Callants Club is disappointed at the announcement that the tapestry is to be situated in Tweedbank. The announcement is surprising, given that SBC have commissioned a report on location suitability and the report is not due until October. Commissioning this report now appears to have been a waste of the public purse.

“It’s a decision which has been made in haste. Hawick Callants Club still awaits a reply to questions previously raised and will be communicating further with Councillor Parker.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “At its meeting in May, council agreed to commission a detailed business case to consider the viability of bringing the Great Tapestry of Scotland to the Borders. That work is already being undertaken by Jura Consultants who, we anticipate, will complete their work in October.

“Council will need to consider a wide range of issues about the Great Tapestry of Scotland. Specifically there is the site in Tweedbank to be agreed, the scale and scope of the building, the financial viability of the project and funding options. These are all matters on which council will make the final decision.”