Plans to covert pub to hub

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The long term establishment of ‘co-located’ council services in Sir Walter Scott’s Court House and a transformed Cross Keys is on the cards.

This week the council submitted a planning application to turn the town centre pub, which it is in the process of buying, into office, meeting room and exhibition space.

The long term goal is to tie the property in with the court house regeneration project and provide a refurbished visitor centre and other services in the town centre.

However, in the short term, the converted pub would be used to provide information on the various regeneration activities ongoing in the town.

Lawrence Robertson, director of Selkirk Regeneration Company, who will run the ‘regeneration hub’ in the short term, said: “We can do great things when we work together. This shows how Selkirk people and organisations working with our council can turn a dreary problem into a bright asset for the town.”

The hub will provide a central point for information on initiatives such as the town’s Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (Selkirk CARS), the flood prevention scheme, pop-up shops and the Business Improvement District Scotland project.

Selkirk CARS will assist in running the hub, which will also provide a central location for talks, exhibitions and presentations related to the developments.

Colin Gilmour, Selkirk CARS Project Officer, said: “Having a town centre location from which to promote Selkirk CARS and the other regeneration activities is ideal in terms of engaging with the public and encouraging them to understand what is being undertaken and how they can get involved.”

Councillor Vicky Davidson, executive member for culture, sport, youth and communities, added: “While there is plenty work still to do, the fact that the Cross Keys has been earmarked to be part of the court house regeneration project is an exciting prospect and demonstrates the council’s commitment to the development of Selkirk town centre.

“If we can ensure the Cross Keys’ involvement in the regeneration project, it would end the long running problem of lack of disabled access to the court house.”

An SBC spokesman told the Wee Paper that the provision of a combined library and contact centre following the revamp of the court house and Cross Keys is being discussed.

Earlier this year the council’s strategic capital plan set out proposals to spend almost £3million on the wider court house project.

Council leader David Parker said the project would ‘dramatically redevelop’ the court house, adding that there was potential for a “library and business hub”.

Most of the spend was forecast for 2017 to 2019.

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