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12 Apr 2019

Construction set to begin on Scottish tapestry visitor attraction
BY Luke Cloherty

The new facility is expected to create 16 new jobs and bring 50,000 visitors a year to the area

The new facility is expected to create 16 new jobs and bring 50,000 visitors a year to the area
photo: Scottish Borders Council

A new £6.7m (US$8.8m, €7.7m) visitor attraction housing the Great Tapestry of Scotland is coming to the country, with construction to begin on a site in Galashiels in the coming weeks.

The Scottish Borders Council has appointed Stirling-based construction firm Ogilvie Construction to build the new facility, which is expected to create 16 new jobs and bring 50,000 visitors a year to the area.

The centre is part of a wider regeneration project in Galashiels, which includes a town trail and sculptures by Robert Coltart, who penned the famous Scottish folk song Ally Bally Bee, also known as Coulter’s Candy.

"This is a hugely exciting time for Galashiels and the Scottish Borders,” said Mark Rowley, the Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development.

"We now have an experienced and trusted contractor in place to take forward the building of this nationally-significant attraction, with the artist impressions indicating it will be a stunning piece of architecture in Galashiels town centre.

"Jobs will be created during construction of the facility alongside a wide range of social, economic and educational benefits once the building opens to the public."

Alistair Moffat, one of the tapestry’s trustees and co-author of a book on it, added: "As large-scale retail moves to the periphery of towns and cities, it is magnetic cultural attractions like the tapestry that will bring back life to the centres of these beautiful places.

"The huge success of the V&A in Dundee, attracting 500,000 visitors in six months, doubling estimates, is only the latest example of how well this strategy works."

The Great Tapestry of Scotland was unveiled for the first time at the Scottish Parliament on 3 September 2013. It was designed by Andrew Crummy and uses an idea of Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith for a grand tapestry to depict different episodes from 12,000 years of Scottish history.



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