A GALASHIELS statue recently found toppled over was the victim of its own “popularity for selfies”, a meeting has heard.

Little Jock – part of the Coulter’s Candy feature in the town’s Market Square – was discovered lying flat on its plinth at the end of August.

Despite many believing that Little Jock had been the target of vandalism, police deemed that the damage had not occurred as the result of a deliberate criminal act.

During a meeting of Galashiels Community Council on Wednesday (October 6), independent councillor Sandy Aitchison said that the statue should be back in place “in the next couple of weeks”.

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“I think it’s fair to say there was a structural weakness,” said Mr Aitchison. “There was a lot of controversy at the time.

“I think Little Jock was a victim of his own popularity for selfies. Over the years people have leaned on him and pushed on him and the inevitable happened.”

The statue will be replaced using funds provided by the Scottish Government’s place based investment programme.

The region has been allocated £912,000, according to a Scottish Borders Council report.

Of that allocation, £80,000 will be spent on Galashiels town centre – with it expected to cost less than £1,000 to reinstate Little Jock, according to Mr Aitchison.

The funds will also be used to re-tile Market Square and Cornmill Square, the report states.

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Galashiels councillor Euan Jardine, of the Conservatives, told the meeting that the current tiles were “not fit for purpose to start with” and that the suppliers “have held up their hands”.

Elsewhere in the Borders, the Port House in Jedburgh is also set to receive £80,000 from the funding pot.

This allocation will allow the second floor of the category A listed building to be “fully fitted out with a view to providing fully functioning workshop and studio space thereby making the whole building more attractive to potential tenants”.

The restoration project is currently underway, with local contractor John Laidlaw and Son undertaking the majority of the work, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the waterfront project in Eyemouth is set to receive £400,000 of the investment programme budget.

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The report states: “The planning application for the erection of three contemporary pavilions was approved in April 2021.

“The proposal replaces an old museum building which was demolished as part of the works.

“The project will deliver a phased development of mixed use space, including studio pods and opportunities for business and community related development.”

Further work is being carried out by officers to identify and deliver additional placed-based projects in other settlements before the end of the financial year.