AN online poll of more than 1,000 Borderers has returned an overwhelming rejection of the Great Tapestry of Scotland plans for Galashiels.

Organisers of the Jethart's Here Facebook page conducted the month-long survey after 'a growing discontent' over the proposals.

Of the 1,100 online voters, 97 percent (1,067) believed the project was 'a waste of money'.

Steven Somerville runs the Jethart's Here Facebook page. He told us: "We don't usually get involved in politics or anything like that but nobody I knew was in favour of all this money being spent on the Tapestry building, so we put it out to the followers of our page just to find out exactly what the feeling was.

"We have over 4,000 people on our page - not all from Jedburgh - and around one-in-four of them had a vote.

"There has been a growing discontent for a while and this vote shows just how strong the feeling is against the Tapestry."

Scottish Borders Council initially planned to create a visitor centre close to the Borders Railway terminus at Tweedbank for the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

But strong opposition from across the Borders led to a fresh study identifying Galashiels as a preferred option.

As well as a new visitor centre being built on the site of the former Poundstretcher store, the town's former Post Office will be brought back to life as part of the complex.

The local authority has secured £2.5 million from the Scottish government's Borders Railway Blueprint towards the £6.7 million centre.

A further £700,000 of central government money is also propping up the project.

And the project has allowed further funding to come into the area for connected regeneration schemes.

Independent consultants believe more than 40,000 will come through the doors during the first year of opening.

And numbers will swell to a regular 50,000 per year over the next decade.

The centre is also expected to create 16 jobs when it opens late next year.

Mr Somerville added: "Some people have made valid points in support of the Tapestry but for the most part the feeling is that it's a waste of money - money that could be better spent elsewhere."

Although close to half of the cost is being met from various pots at Holyrood, Scottish Borders Council is having to borrow £3.5 million to meet its share.

Councillor Mark Rowley, the local authority spokesman for business and economic development, said: “The Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor attraction is seen as the catalyst for regeneration.

"Set to open in 2020, it will have a range of facilities for visitors and the community to enjoy including interactive displays and audio guides, changing exhibitions, education activities, a gift shop, café with seasonal and local produce and a programme of events for all ages.

“Heritage and culture experts predict the centre will attract over 50,000 people to Galashiels each year, as well as create 16 new jobs at the facility.

“In addition, almost £900,000 of extra spending per year is predicted for the local economy, providing 12,000 extra visits to complementary attractions, supporting a further 17 jobs.

“There will also be jobs created during construction of the facility amongst other community benefits.

“We are currently engaging with contractors on the building of the visitor centre, with construction scheduled to begin in coming months.”