The Scottish Government has approved Selkirk’s £31.4million flood-protection scheme, which will protect hundreds of homes and businesses.
Scottish Borders Council’s funding bid was given the final go-ahead last Thursday, which means the major engineering project is now fully funded, approved, designed and ready to start the delivery stages.
The main works are expected to begin in November, and be completed by December 2016.
The new scheme means 595 properties in the Bannerfield, Philiphaugh and Riverside areas will be removed from the national flood-risk register, and be protected against the effects of flooding from the Ettrick and Yarrow waters, and the Long Philip and Shaw burns.
Councillor Gordon Edgar, SBC’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: “This is fantastic news. A lot of hard work gone into reaching this stage, and I know the council appreciates the feedback from stakeholders and the people of Selkirk throughout the process.
“This project will effectively remove the risk of flooding for the Riverside area, where the majority of businesses in Selkirk are based, and make it easier for these companies to achieve flood insurance. Hopefully, that can lead to the regeneration of the area and encourage the creation of jobs.”
SBC’s project manager for the scheme, Conor Price, added: “This is a huge milestone for the project. The design that was started in October 2009 is now complete and the project team are changing their focus to project delivery and construction.
“Over the coming months there will be a steady increase in works activity as we commence the public-utility diversions, pre-construction archaeology survey and prepare for the main works contract. With this in mind we have just restructured the scheme website and created a new page that will provide regular updates through the construction period.”
Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Communities living under threat of flooding know only too well the devastating effects it can have.
“I look forward to seeing the undoubted positive impact of these works for residents and businesses in these communities.”