Galashiels Transport Interchange makes its mark

The £5.2million Galashiels Transport Interchange is four months into construction but already it has provided a series of community benefits.

Published: 16 October 2014
Capability: Building
Market: Rail

The education and training programme, agreed by Scottish Borders Council (SBC), its development partner Hub South East Scotland and appointed contractor Morrison Construction, has been designed to deliver a range of activities within the local area to support young people at school and college.

Included in the programme have been work experience opportunities for pupils at five Borders secondary schools, with 15-year-old Calvin Hunter of Earlston High having already spent a week learning about site management earlier this month.

Bricklaying, joinery and plumbing students from Borders College have also taken up work placements on the project, which is due to be completed in June next year ahead of the opening of the Borders Railway in September 2015.

Site visits are also scheduled, with 19 bricklaying students due to be given a tour of the scheme next month.

In addition, Morrison Construction staff have spoken to over 500 primary pupils at nearby schools to explain the dangers associated with construction sites.

Councillor Stuart Bell, Executive Member for Economic Development at SBC, said: "While it is good to see the progress of the physical building of the Galashiels Transport Interchange, which will direct footfall into the centre of the town, it is also very pleasing to hear of the spin-off educational benefits.

"The Council is committed to supporting local communities across the Borders throughout the construction and delivery of the Transport Interchange and the educational and training programme shows that pledge is being fulfilled.

"When the Transport Interchange is completed there will be an opportunity for a business to open a café in the interchange itself, there will be office space available to let within the building and of course the provision of better connections between all means of sustainable transport."

Paul McGirk, Chief Executive of Hub South East Scotland Ltd, said: "One of the key aims of the Hub initiative is to ensure the delivery of community benefits locally. This includes a commitment to involving young people, through work experience, training and educational visits.

"It's fantastic to see this happening on the Galashiels Transport Interchange project, giving real opportunities for learning and practical experience to those at school and college in the Borders."

Alice Harley, Project Skills Coordinator, Morrison Construction, said: "Bridging the gap between education and employment is a crucial factor to aid sustainable economic recovery. Morrison Construction takes its responsibilities to the communities it operates within very seriously and ensures that we provide maximum community benefit to the people in the local area.

"We have engaged with Borders College and the local schools, delivering curriculum supported activities and work-based education offering young people the opportunity to gain a valuable insight into the industry."

The Galashiels TI is financed by SBC and the European Regional Development Fund, the latter providing £1.8m.