COMMUNITY leaders have vowed to “fight all the way” to save Galashiels’ Focus Centre.

Under plans to build a new £55 million school in the town, small social and leisure facilities could be under threat – with services being incorporated in the new campus.

But at Galashiels Community Council’s recent meeting, members said they were worried the new proposals would not be practical.

Chairwoman Judith Cleghorn said: “I have been involved with the Focus Centre for 25 years and during that time, we have built up a rapport with the community.

“We have been advised that the centre would be incorporated within the new school.

“But I have got the impression that we would be forced to fit in as and when we could.

“It also would mean we would no longer be able to donate to good causes in the town.

“I think losing the Focus Centre is not right and I will fight the plans all the way.”

Those words were echoed by secretary of Galashiels Community Council Tracey Alder, who runs a crochet group at the Focus Centre.

She said: “The Focus Centre is an affordable place for people to come to.

“If the centre was to close, would the school allow us to bring around 60 elderly people in on a Friday afternoon?”

Scottish Borders Council says it is continuing to work with management teams which operate the community facilities.

A spokesperson said: “The current plans include a new swimming pool and increased hall space which can be used for a variety of purposes, alongside 2G and 3G sports pitches.

“It is proposed these new facilities would aim to replace the current Swimming Pool, Queens Centre and Focus Community Centre, which are recognised as valued assets for Galashiels but are now all requiring significant investment in order to keep them usable for the public in the long-term.

“The council continues to discuss the plans with the management and leadership teams who operate these existing facilities.

“A public consultation will begin later this year, which will provide the opportunity for the proposals to be presented and discussed with members of the community ahead of a formal planning application being submitted.”