PLANS to create a permanent home in Galashiels for the Great Tapestry of Scotland have taken a step forward this week.

An application for demolishing the current Poundstretcher store on the site has now been approved.

And a separate submission for internal and external alterations to the neighbouring former Post Office has also won favour with planners.

Scottish Borders Council wants to erect a new £6.7 million visitor centre on the site of the former Poundstretcher store.

And architects Page and Park have also come up with an ingenious design to connect the proposed new building to the Grade B listed former Post Office next door.

Galashiels councillor Euan Jardine welcomed this week's progress.

He told the Border Telegraph: "It is great that a cultural building of national significance will be based in Galashiels.

"I am sure it will make our town a destination area for many years into the future."

It is hoped that the new Great Tapestry of Scotland centre will attract more than 50,000 visitors to Galashiels every year.

And it will generate an annual income in the region of £900,000 for the Borders economy.

Councillor Mark Rowley, spokesman for economic development at Newtown, said: "If approved, the visitor centre will be more than a home for the Great Tapestry, but also provide educational, retail and community facilities to benefit a wide variety of groups.

"The visitor centre would also be the first stage of a long-term strategy to stimulate investment in the local economy."