PEEBLES Community Trust is planning for the future after receiving a £33,000 grant.

As we reported last week, the group has received the cash from Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS) – as part of a £7.7 million package of funding from the Scottish Government.

And the community trust (PCT) has wasted no time getting its plans into action, by employing a co-ordinator to help take forward projects on the Town Action Plan.

Alex Wilson, who is working part-time, will be at Peebles’ Tesco store today (Friday) in the first of a series of public engagement exercises.

Chairman of the PCT Lawrie Hayworth said: “We see ourselves as servants, not leaders.

“We will be out and about in the community, on the High Street and in places like Tesco, to gather ideas and encourage people to join us. Tell us your ideas and we will look at them and try to take them forward.

“We have done the action plan after a major public consultation exercise so we know the issues that we face and we know some of the things that we need to do to protect our town and help it to grow sustainably. But we are always looking for new ideas.”

Members of the trust are also still hoping to create a community enterprise hub and training facility on the former March Street Mill site.

However, as reported last year, owners Moorbrook Ltd – a subsidiary of the Swedish company Lindengruppen – is focussed on securing planning consent to build houses on the five-acre site.

But PCT, Peebles Community Council and Peebles Civic Society, have written to Lindengruppen’s sole owner asking to meet her to discuss the company’s plans.

Mr Hayworth added: “Our preferred location for an enterprise hub, which we know is badly needed, is the March Street Mill site but we can’t make any progress on that until there is movement from Lindengruppen.

“We have done a lot of the background work. We have engaged consultants and architects to examine the possibilities of the site and the feasibility of taking on all or part of it.

“We know that Peebles needs the sort of things we want to see there rather than a whole lot of new houses.”

Mr Hayworth says there are also a number of other projects the trust is looking to take on – such as securing 11 acres of woodland at Eshiels from the Forestry Enterprise Scotland to establish an Eshiels Community Wood Fund; and drawing up a plan to help increase recycling at Eshiels Recycling Centre.

Members are also involved with the plans to create a railway museum and an all-Peebles allotments association.