A REMEMBRANCE garden in a Borders cemetery is finally set to become a reality after a decade-long campaign.

Burnfoot Community Council has been the driving force behind the creation of a memorial area in Hawick’s Wilton Cemetery, with commemorative bricks in memory of loved ones to be laid beside the path in the garden.

Benches and gently sloping mounds with wild flowers are to provide a sheltered environment for people to pay their respects in a peaceful setting.

A bid for £4,576 in funding to cover the remaining costs of the project, including the supply and laying of tarmac and the supply and planting of seeds and plants, was agreed by members of the Hawick Common Good Sub-Committee when they met last week.

Community council spokesperson Mandy McGuigan said: “The remembrance garden has been ongoing affair for over ten years. We just recently got funding from the National Lottery, which was just under £10,000, so we are just about at the finishing post for the total amount required to complete the works and this last tranche of funding will seal the deal.”

Hawick & Hermitage councillor and town provost Watson McAteer said: “I apply a very simple test on applications to the Common Good and that is what benefits the people of Hawick and I have no doubt this will benefit the people of Hawick and beyond.

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“I have been around watching this develop over ten years and recognise the demand on grave space in cemeteries and uptake in cremations and the need therefore to find the right location for people to remember relatives is vital and this fits the bill perfectly. There has been a lot of hard work behind this so now let’s get it over the line.”

A report to the sub-committee said: “There is now a trend for cremations in the community as opposed to burials.

“This project is not only for the residents of Burnfoot but also the wider community of Hawick. It will be the first remembrance garden to be built in Hawick and will bring the community of Hawick and Burnfoot together.

“This will provide the residents of Hawick with a place to go within the town to pay their respects and lay a commemorative brick to loved ones who have passed away.

“Our town is crying out for this type of facility and it will allow the residents of Hawick to stay within the town which will reduce the environmental impact on fuels and cars.

“This type of facility is not only sustainable but will grow with the ever increasing number of cremations which are being carried out.”