FLOOD defence bosses in Selkirk have pulled the plug on a planned third art installation for the banks of the Ettrick.

As part of the £31 million flood defence scheme, which was completed two years ago, three artworks were commissioned near to the new walls and embankments.

Last year two of the projects - legacy mosaics by Svetlana Kondakova and a tribute trail by the Black Bob Heritage Group - were successfully completed and officially opened.

But continuing problems with the third project initially led to delays.

And it has now been confirmed that the planned Spinning Point wooden installation for the Bannerfield Plaza has been ditched.

Spiralling costs for the 'playful sculptural intervention' which was 'inspired by the local textile industry' by Glasgow-based Bespoke Atelier led to the decision.

Conor Price, who was the project manager of Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme, confirmed the decision this week.

He said: “Two of Selkirk’s Flood Protection Scheme community art projects – The Spirit of Black Bob Trail and A Selkirk Legacy - were successfully completed last year.

“Over a period of time working with the artists for the third project, a bespoke piece of art furniture at Bannerfield Plaza, it became apparent they were unable to complete the project within our fixed budget.

“With no additional funding available from the Flood Scheme or Scottish Borders Council, it is with great disappointment that the Flood Scheme’s project board has decided to cancel this particular art installation and thereby the contract with the artist."

A total of £90,000 was set aside for the three arts installations to accompany the new flood defences.

Tendering for the commissions attracted 13 submitted projects.

A committee of officials and community leaders selected the winning entries.

Although the third installation has been pulled, it is hoped that money left in the pot can still be used to enhance the Bannerfield Plaza and a use can be found for the timber which has already been bought for the failed installation.

Mr Price, who is now in charge of the Hawick Flood Protection Scheme, added: “Discussions have been held with local councillors and the Flood Scheme’s project team for alternative proposals for the Bannerfield Plaza with the remaining budget, while the specific oak timber sourced for the project from a Borders supplier will be put to community use.

“A lessons learnt exercise will also take place ahead of Hawick Flood Protection Scheme.

“The project team is currently closing down all remaining activities that are part of the overall Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme.

"We expect that the Scheme will be 100 percent closed by March 2020.”

Bannerfield Plaza sits to the north-west of the new footbridge.

The distinctive arched area acted as an Italian prisoner of war camp during World War Two.

And local historian Dougie Purves hopes that any new installations can reflect the site's wartime heritage.

Mr Purves told us: "Many people in the town don't know that there was a POW camp at the arches.

"It is important that we honour our history when planning any future work."