A £20,000 ‘teen shelter’ was officially opened in Peebles’ Victoria Park last week.

The idea, first mooted last year, was suggested to give youngsters a place to gather and to combat anti-social behaviour in the town.

The project finally came to fruition last week when teenagers and school pupils mixed and mingled with police officers, councillors and youth workers at the opening ceremony.

Iain Gibson, of Peebles Youth Voice, said: “Peebles Youth Voice was formed slightly more than a year ago and this was one of the first things that the kids mentioned they would like to see happen.

“With the support of Peebles Community Council, the Scottish Borders councillors and, in particular, councillor Julie Pirone, we have worked through that in the past year and I am absolutely delighted to see it up.

“It is only a beginning, the first big thing we have done for young people here but we are currently running a questionnaire at the High School out of which we hope to find more things that they would like.”

The ‘Beckton Chatshak’ structure was supplied by Broxap street furniture and erected by contractor Graham Irvine, under the supervision of Scottish Borders Council.

Ms Pirone, who cut the ribbon, added: “I am delighted and honoured to be opening this fantastic shelter and I hope it will be well used and respected.

“This project has been a labour of love for Peebles Youth Voice, Oor Space Youthy, myself and the young people who wanted to see it in place and more importantly to be listened to and their voices respected.

“I was listening to the news yesterday and there was a Children’s Commissioner’s report, the biggest ever in the UK, which said four out of five children do not believe that politicians and those people with power listen to them.

“This is us listening and it is in Peebles and you need to tell us what other things you want.

“Thank you everybody for coming along and the help and support.”

Graham Cowe, team leader of Borders Street Pastors, added: “This is a fabulous initiative.

“We have been going out monthly in Peebles for about nine months and we recognise a lot of the faces of youngsters here today and understand, a wee bit, the issues they are having. This will certainly help.”