GROUPS in the Borders are set to benefit from £7.7 million of Scottish Government funding.

The South of Scotland Economic Partnership is to pay £610,000 towards a new textile training centre in Hawick.

And £6.6m will be split between Borders College and Dumfries and Galloway College to help fund training in care, renewable energy and engineering and construction.

Peebles Community Trust, Newlands Community Development Trust and the Tweedsmuir Community Company will each get a slice of £220,710.

Councillor Mark Rowley (Cons), executive member for business and economic development, said: “It is tremendous that the South of Scotland Economic Partnership has been quick to recognise the positive impact community-led projects can have for people and in growing and sustaining the local economy.

"Too often communities have great ideas, drive and enthusiasm but lack the funds, time and resources to deliver their vision effectively. I’m sure this funding to support community development will be hugely welcome to residents in Peebles, Newlands and Tweedsmuir.

“This model could see other community-supported schemes thrive and deliver economic and social benefits to the Borders by giving community groups the right resources to engage with funders, communities and private and public sector bodies. 

“If successful I hope to see this initiative repeated elsewhere to enable communities right across the Borders to play their part and improve their area’s economic vibrancy.”

Peebles Community Trust will use the cash to help deliver the Town Action Plan – which includes working with groups to set up a local co-workspace that will act as a community hub and training facility.

Newlands Community Development Trust will hire a manager to focus on new income streams for the village. And a development officer will be sought by Tweedsmuir Community Company to assist with the development of the Crook Inn site.

This includes business planning and securing funding and assisting with the management of the café and bunk house when opened.

Councillor Robin Tatler (Ind), chairman of the Tweeddale Area Partnership, said: “This funding will further empower these three active community groups to take forward local projects and plans that benefit the immediate community and economy.

"All three are to be commended for playing their part with such vision and effort.”