January 14, 2015
Home at last
When the Great Tapestry of Scotland, was on display at the Scottish Parliament the queues ran round the block. Over 1000 stitchers working in small groups across Scotland contributed to this amazing project which has attracted widespread acclaim. While the search for a permanent home for the tapestry has been cast far and wide, it has toured a number of temporary sites around the country (Stirling Castle from the end of Jan). Finally, a local authority has shown the vision to create a purpose built facility for this national treasure. They’ll be the winners.
Councillors have agreed to fund the building of a permanent home for the Great Tapestry of Scotland in the Borders.
Members of Scottish Borders Council voted 21-10 in favour of allocating up to £3.5 million towards the project which will be built on a greenfield site on an industrial estate in Tweedbank, near Galashiels, Selkirkshire.
The Great Tapestry of Scotland is seen as an outstanding celebration of Scottish history and achievement from the end of the last ice age to the 21st century.
More than 1,000 volunteer stitchers worked for 55,000 hours using 300 miles of wool to create the 160 panels of this extraordinary work of art. The 143-metre long Tapestry has been seen by over 100,000 visitors during its touring displays over Scotland.
It will now be sited near to the end of the new £353 million Borders Railway line which is currently under construction linking the region with Edinburgh.
The Scottish Government has pledged £2.5 million towards the scheme and the green light for the Borders contribution was given after Jura Consultants said the tapestry would bring money to the local economy.
A council report described it as a “unique opportunity” for the Scottish Borders to have an “exhibition of national significance” with ties to the region’s textiles traditions.
“I am delighted that Elected Members have supported this project and we hope to provide a truly inspirational visitor centre that will act as a gateway to the Borders and encourage visitors not only to view the Tapestry but to go to the many other visitor attractions throughout our region.
“We have worked hard to secure the Tapestry for the Borders and there were many other locations in Scotland who were very keen to offer the Tapestry a permanent home.
“We have been able to demonstrate to the Tapestry Trustees that our Borders proposal was a very unique and special one and I was delighted earlier this year to secure the support of the Scottish Government who will be a major funder of the project.”
– COUNCILLOR DAVID PARKER, LEADER OF THE COUNCIL
“I am very pleased that this special Tapestry will have its permanent home in the Scottish Borders.
“It is a truly magnificent work of art which will become a national treasure and I have no doubt that the many visitors to the Tapestry will not only return to see it again, but will return to the Borders to see the many other attractions here.”
– COUNCILLOR IAIN GILLESPIE