AN INFORMAL consultation has been launched on the location of the new Galashiels Academy campus.

Scottish Borders Council says its preference is to build within the existing school boundary and on a portion of Scott Park.

But now members of the public will have a chance to comment on the proposal, as well as the four other potential building locations.

The council’s executive member for children and young people, Carol Hamilton, said: “The replacement of the existing Galashiels Academy with a new community campus will not only deliver an outstanding educational facility for our young people but also provide a range of community and sporting facilities which will improve opportunities and access for everyone in the Galashiels area and beyond.

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“The council’s preferred option has already been refined following initial community feedback, but this consultation really is the opportunity for all in the community, not just the school community, to get involved and share their views about the plans for a brand new school.

“This is a truly exciting proposal and builds on the council’s recent investment in new secondary schools in Kelso and Jedburgh.

“It is now Galashiels’ turn and I would encourage everyone in the Galashiels area to explore the dedicated consultation website and share their views.”

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The consultation opened yesterday (Thursday, March 18) and can be accessed through this link.

A council spokesperson said: “This initial consultation will be followed by the submission of a pre-application notice towards the end of April for planning purposes before a full planning application is lodged.

“These latter two steps will include formal consultation with the community on site and building specific matters.

“A statutory education consultation, focused on the educational benefits of a new school rather than the site or building itself, will also commence shortly.”

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The spokesperson added: “The preferred option is for the new 1,000+ pupil school to be largely built within the existing school boundary and a portion of the town’s Scott Park.

“Following early feedback from the community, the building location has been altered to reduce the impact on the park.

“Demolition of the existing school buildings would allow for extensive landscaping which would actually see the usable Scott Park area expanded and improved upon.

“This would include the establishment of a community orchard and new pathways for both school and community use.”

The aim is to open the new campus in 2025.