Politicians join drive to improve High Street

COMMUNITY council chairperson Marion Short is on a mission to rejuvenate the High Street, and has enlisted the help of politicians and Holyrood officials to do so.

Mrs Short has set her sights on improving the town centre after its deterioration was raised at a recent meeting.

Following talks last month with Scotland’s Finance Minister John Swinney, which were organised by local MSP John Lamont, Mrs Short travelled to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday to meet with a member of Mr Swinney’s team. But it was following a walk from The Horse to Tower Knowe with a local delegation on Saturday, that plans for a “community workshop” and pop-up shops were highlighted.

Following the walkabout – attended by Mr Lamont, MSP Paul Wheelhouse and MP Michael Moore, Mrs Short said: “I’m very grateful for the time given by our parliamentarians and for the information provided which has certainly helped to point the community council in the right direction,” she stated. “The way forward now is to expand .”

And that sentiment is shared by Mr Moore, who has vowed to help return the town centre to its “rightful glory”. He commented: “Hawick High Street is the heart of the community. It is a well-loved economic and social hub. However, everyone recognises it has changed dramatically over recent years. After discussions on Saturday, I would like to see a community workshop to tackle the problem of empty shops and return Hawick High Street to its rightful glory.”

And one concept the community council is pursuing is the High Street’s first ever pop-up shop (as reported in last week’s Hawick News), which is due to open shortly. “ This is one of the initiatives we’ll be seeking funding for, as it proved successful in Selkirk last year,”,explained Mrs Short.

Hawick MSP John Lamont added: “The community council is working very hard to attract new shops and businesses to Hawick. We had a good meeting to discuss the various challenges that it faces, and I look forward to working with the community council to ensure that the High Street gets all the support that it needs.”