After protracted negotiation with absentee owners, Selkirk Regeneration Company (SRC) has recently managed to acquire, on behalf of the people of Selkirk, two derelict commercial properties, 1 Tower Street (1TS) and 5 Tower Street (5TS) which have, for a long time, blighted a highly visible town centre corner site which is a focal point of Selkirk’s Conservation Area, at the junction of Tower Street and the High Street, on the A7 trunk route through the town.
Our vision is to bring these two derelict properties back into community use and thereby provide a positive contribution to Selkirk’s town centre. This project will be an important catalyst which, once completed, will unblock further future regeneration of other neighbouring properties.
Once renovation is complete, these two properties will provide a “community hub” right in the centre of town, comprising a pop-up shop for use by local crafters, charities and small retail enterprises, a small information/exhibition centre where tourists and locals can access resources, and a convenient meeting space, training space and ancillary facilities which can be used by community organisations.
The initial restoration of 1TS has already been completed by SRC. If successful, this current funding application will allow SRC to undertake the renovation of 5TS to complete the physical nucleus of the project, and thereafter employ a part-time manager – for an initial period of 5 years – to administer bookings, liaise with users and establish, maintain advertising and public relations, and operate the community hub.
The outcomes will include:
- The transformation of a town centre derelict property which is blighting a prominent area, turning an eyesore into an attractive location and preserving the unique qualities of Selkirk’s Conservation Area.
- The provision of a sustainable pop-up shop to support local traders and charitable organisations and to encourage businesses from outwith Selkirk to showcase their products locally.
- The provision of a community hub, for use by community groups, and to provide an affordable venue for local arts activity.
- A complementary CARS (Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme)-funded external renovation project (a joint initiative funded by Historic Environment Scotland and Scottish Borders Council) will then be able to proceed, giving added value to the area and benefitting several adjoining residential and commercial properties.
- Income from letting or use of the restored premises will be used by SRC to pump prime further much needed regeneration projects within Selkirk for the benefit of both visitors and the local community.