Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Langlee Primary School, Galashiels

Contact: Fiona Walling  Tel: 01835826504 Email:

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


Councillor Edgar, Chairman, welcomed everyone to the meeting of the Eildon Area Partnership and was pleased to introduce recently elected Member for Selkirkshire, Councillor Caroline Penman.



Feedback from meeting on 25 January 2018 pdf icon PDF 325 KB

Copy of Minute attached.



The minute of the first meeting of the Area Partnership had been circulated which included a summary of the discussion output as an appendix.  The Communities and Partnership Manager referred to the general concerns, issues, challenges and opportunities raised at that meeting and confirmed that the theme identified as a priority to take forward for more in-depth discussion was Our Economy Skills and Learning.  This theme would therefore be the focus for debate for the remainder of the meeting.



Theme: Our Economy, Skills and Learning pdf icon PDF 492 KB

A facilitated discussion on the subject in order to put forward a set of initial outcome(s) for Eildon - further information on local data and statistics.


Head of Economic Development and Environment, Bryan McGrath, provided an introduction to the theme for the evening.  He drew attention to issues highlighted at recent Business Breakfasts; the main concerns related to digital connectivity, business rates, Brexit, business premises and access to people with the right skills. Opportunities for Economic Development within the Borders were recognised.  Many related to tourism with mountain biking and the Tapestry being referred to in particular.  Kevin McCall, Senior Lead Officer Education and Lifelong Learning, spoke about the importance of developing skills and employability in young people and the need for a partnership approach to the skills agenda. He summarised the top attributes being sought by employers. Skilled, lifelong learners were required and he emphasised that vocational routes for young people were equally important as academic routes.  The Service Director Assets and Infrastructure spoke about the recently completed outline masterplans for Galashiels and Tweedbank and drew attention to the plans displayed at the meeting.  The masterplans, intended as ‘vision documents’ were the starting point against which the Council could begin to realise the economic potential of the Borders Railway. The Galashiels masterplan was focused on opportunities for regeneration within the town whilst the Tweedbank masterplan comprised a mixed use development of residential provision and business space in the form of the Borders Innovation Park. 


3.2       Following the introductory talks, officers joined Elected Members, partners and members of the public at their tables for a discussion of the main issues relating to “Our Economy Skills and Learning” in the Eildon Area.  A pack of information was provided at each table to aid the discussion as were post-it notes to record the emerging points.  Following this first discussion period and a short break each group returned to their tables where they were asked by the Chairman to focus on the key issues raised and to discuss and identify ways of taking these forward within the Eildon area.  A summary of the output of the discussions is provided as an appendix to this minute.



Next meeting

10 May 2018

Discuss venue and time


Newtown St Boswells was suggested as the venue for the next meeting of the Area Partnership on Thursday 10 May 2018 and the proposed theme “Our Quality of Life”.  The Chairman thanked those present for their attendance and advised that arrangements for the next meeting would be confirmed.




Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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