GALASHIELS has moved a step closer to getting walking and mountain bike trails.

At the town's community council meeting on Wednesday, member Bill White revealed funding has been secured to start drawing up plans.

As reported in last week's Border Telegraph, Scottish Borders Council has released a masterplan to transform Galashiels.

And the former councillor believes the trails project could help with the regeneration of the town.

Mr White said: "We have all talked a lot about Galashiels moving forward with the masterplan, but there is more good news.

"Last year we sent off to get some funding to create new trails, along the lines of what Peebles has, for mountain biking and horses etc.

"And we have managed to secure some funding from Awards for All, to carry out the first part of the project.

"We have discussed plans for trails for a while, so it is great to get some money which means we can begin the initial scoping out process.

"The trails are really successful in Peebles and Innerleithen. I often go up there on a Sunday, and you can't get moved for people.

"We want to make Gala as good as it gets."

Mr White also said he has contacted a designer to start the ball rolling.

He added: "This will be a long process, and a one that will need a lot of consultation with the public, and the likes of the mountain biking and horse riding fraternities.

"We will also have to get plans drawn up.

"I have spoken with Pete Laing [a designer] who says we could get trails that look just as good as Glentress. I would reckon we might be able to get plans drawn up by the end of the year.

"We will then have to get looking at securing funding to take the project forward, but I think the real difficult part is getting this smaller £10,000 funding, which we have managed to get from Awards for All."