Holyrood confirms £1.3million for flood defences

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The first tranche of funding for the Hawick Flood Protection Scheme has been confirmed by the Scottish Government.

Councillors at this week’s Scottish Borders Council (SBC) executive meeting heard that the Government has provided an initial £1.342million for the project as a general capital grant for the period 2016/17.

The Hawick scheme was included on a list of 40 new flood protection projects by the Government earlier this summer. The scheme will receive 80 per cent (£29.2m) of the overall project costs from the Government, which currently stands at £36.4m.

The confirmation of Scottish Government support came ahead of a public exhibition on Tuesday August 23 and Wednesday August 24 in Hawick Town Hall, which will give members of the public the opportunity to make their views known on the scheme.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, SBC’s executive ember for roads and infrastructure, responded: “It is hugely positive news for Hawick that the Scottish Government has provided the first tranche of funding for the town’s Flood Protection Scheme, and included the project on its priority list.

“The next aim is to now get the scheme built and that is why the public exhibition this month remains so important.”

He added: “As the scheme is currently in its outline design phase, it is a lot easier for us to address any concerns now than if objections are brought up at a later stage, which could result in delays to the overall project.”

The public exhibition runs from 9am to 9pm on both days.

In addition, a riverside walk designed to celebrate the historical significance of the River Teviot and Slitrig Water through story, song and even poetry with well-known local performers will also take place on Tuesday August 23.