South Scotland

Galashiels base for Scottish Centre of Textiles agreed

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Image caption Mr Moore said he had campaigned to ensure the centre was based in the Scottish Borders

Galashiels in the Scottish Borders has been selected as the planned base for a national centre of textiles.

MP Michael Moore said the decision brought the project, which it is hoped would boost tourism, a "step closer".

He has been working with Heriot-Watt University, textile producers, Borders College and project leaders to try to ensure it would be based in the region.

A possible site in Selkirk was ruled out by a feasibility study, which concluded it would not be viable.

The next step for the Scottish Centre of Textiles project - led by textile designer Hamish Carruthers and community councillor Alisdaire Lockhart - is to establish a Scottish National Textile Archive.

It is hoped that could further enhance the reputation of Scottish textiles.

'Difficult process'

Mr Moore said: "Ever since I heard about the possibility of a Scottish Centre of Textiles, I have been campaigning to ensure that it is located in the Borders where 80% of the textile industry of Scotland is based.

"Here in the Borders we have a world-class textiles industry and this centre has the potential to further enhance its reputation as well as boosting local tourism."

He said choosing where to locate the project had been a "difficult process" but with the Borders railway nearby and other attractions such as Abbotsford House it was decided Galashiels was the best location.

He said he now looked forward to working on creating the archive, which would "bring together historic and contemporary textile collections produced in Scotland, for the public and global researchers to enjoy".

Future plans could include a manufacturing unit and a museum as well as a gallery, shop and cafe.

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