COMMUNITY leaders in Peebles are asking locals and businesses to give their pennies in exchange for blooms.

Following cuts by Scottish Borders Council to the planting of flowers beds, tubs and baskets around the town, Peebles Community Council has joined forces with Bonnie Peebles volunteers in a bid to keep the town flourishing.

And there is more than one way people can help – by getting green-fingered or digging deep into their pockets.

With £2,000 already pledged, the future of Peebles floral displays is looking bright.

Chairman of Peebles Community Council Les Turnbull explained: “I think it’s fair to say that most people think the loss of the flowerbeds will be detrimental to the town.

"I’ve had several conversations with Bonnie Peebles to ascertain whether or not they would be prepared to take on the threatened flowerbeds and maintain them.

“There are two issues that were exercising their minds.

"The first is money. Where is the money going to come from to buy all of these extra plants? The second issue was where are they going to get more volunteers to plant these extra flowers.”

A member of Bonnie Peebles estimated the cost of planting the beds that are under threat, and it is thought to be the region of £6,000.

Mr Turnbull added: “I have written to a number of people and have for pledges at the moment of slightly over £2,000 towards the flowerbeds. I am confident that we can raise the other money that is required.”

The local authority has also said it will help get the project off the ground.

“I have had a conversation with one of the officers in Neighbourhood Services who has intimated that on a one-off basis the Council may be prepared, if the beds are taken over, to give some of the money that is allocated for the purchase of shrubs to Bonnie Peebles to help kick-start the project,” said Mr Turnbull.

“It’s looking very positive. Bonnie Peebles think they may be able to attract the volunteers necessary to do the work. That doesn’t mean they have the volunteers at the moment.

“We are looking for volunteers, businesses and individuals if they wish to contribute towards the cost of the flowerbeds. It’s not a huge amount of money in the scheme of things and that’s why I am confident we’ll get there.”

Mr Turnbull stressed that the flowerbeds around the town bring a great deal of pleasure to residents and visitors and said the community don’t want to lose them.

“Bonnie Peebles have done a superb job so far with the beds that they tend and they must be congratulated. However, taking on more is a big job and they need help.

“We have gone a long way in obtaining pledges for funding and more needs to be done so we are calling on businesses in the town to come forward to help.”

“This would be money well spent, keeping the town beautiful, attracting visitors who use our hotels, restaurants and shops. Every business surely has a vested interest in helping to maintain the beauty of our town.”