COMMUNITY leaders in Galashiels are hoping Christmas comes early this year.

The town's community council have dusted down their Santa's grotto in a bid to drum up support for improving Gala's festive lights.

And they hope their ho-ho-ho-ing will attract enough votes in Scottish Borders Council's Localities Bid Fund to secure £15,000.

Community council chair Judith Cleghorn said: “Towns and cities throughout the UK really harness the spirit of Christmas, building magnificent community events such as festive markets, outdoor concerts, celebrity light switch-ons, all decorated with spectacular illumination displays.

"This is what we want for Galashiels.

“We want Galashiels town centre to become a place where people choose to spend their leisure time, do a bit of shopping and relax with family and friends.

"Christmas is an ideal opportunity to showcase all we can offer as a town, and the funding we would receive with a successful vote would help us achieve this.”