PLANS to regenerate Langlee have taken a step forward this week with the unveiling of a masterplan.

And a separate deal has been signed off to draw up regeneration plans for Galashiels town centre.

Scottish Borders Council and Waverley Housing are leading the project to bring high-quality housing to areas in and around Beech Avenue, Hawthorn Road, Larch Grove and Laurel Grove.

The plans, which will also have input from Scottish Borders Housing Association and Eildon Housing, will be developed over the coming months with a series of consultation events.

Residents, community groups and other stakeholders will be asked for their views on future options for the area.

Councillor Mark Rowley, who is the spokesman for business and economic development, told us: “Upper Langlee is an important residential area and it is important that we consider what needs to be done to improve the area, as part of the wider regeneration of Galashiels.

“This masterplanning project is an opportunity for the Council and Waverley Housing to work closely together with local residents and community groups such as Langlee Residents’ Association to ensure that a shared vision for the area is developed, agreed and taken forward by all parties.”

Ark Consultancy has been appointed to take the project forward.

And it is hoped a final report with a vision for the area will be published by next summer.

Margaret Ross, chief executive of Waverley Housing, said: “We have been working closely with the Council to progress this project and are very pleased to see that the first steps towards presenting possible options for the future of the area have commenced.

"There is now a real sense of purpose with all parties pulling together to work up proposals to achieve a better future for the area.”

Scottish Borders Council has also signed off a £160,000 contract for Edinburgh consultants Turner and Townsend to draw up a masterplan for Galashiels Town Centre.

The contract, which is part of the Borders Railway Blueprint programme, comes just a week after the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre proposals were backed by the local authority's planning committee.

A spokesman for Scottish Borders Council told us: "While this will ultimately allow the Local Development Plan to be updated to encourage investment in these communities and the wider Borders economy, work on the Galashiels masterplan is also linked to the delivery of the new home for the Great Tapestry of Scotland, which is now entering the delivery stage following the scheme recently receiving planning consent.

“As a result, there are a variety of activities which require to be supported through the appointment of external consultants Turner and Townsend.”