A WAR memorial garden in Peeblesshire is in the pipeline for a £60k face-lift aimed at restoring it to its former glory.

Innerleithen War Memorial Garden plays a key role in both the town’s remembrance day commemorations and St Ronan’s Games.

But it has proved increasingly difficult to maintain and volunteers have often been drafted in to spruce it up.

Now Innerleithen Memorial Trust is in the process of seeking funds to carry out an extensive refurbishment.

This is seen as particularly timely as the one hundredth anniversary of the town’s Memorial Hall will be marked later this year.

It was an issue which came under the spotlight when members of Innerleithen Common Good Fund Sub-Committee met via video-link on Wednesday, August 24.

Ross McGinn, of Innerleithen Memorial Trust, said: “We have a project in the pipeline to restore the garden to what it was originally set down as and we are getting funding together for that, although it has been more complicated than we had anticipated. It is still progressing but it is much slower than we had anticipated.

“People often forget that the memorial garden is actually part of the memorial. It’s not just the big slab at the bottom with the names on, the garden is part of the memorial and very precious to most of us in the community.

“We are leading up to the one hundredth anniversary of the Memorial Hall at the end of this year and it would be appropriate if the gardens looked reasonably well attended to by that time.

“When we costed the project it was £60,000 and we hoped to get that in a one-off from Heritage Lottery but that has turned out not to be possible so we are now looking at pots of money to make up that amount and one of our project team is following that through with various funders.”

Meanwhile, Mr Ginn said it had been left to volunteers to ensure that the garden did not fall into a state of disrepair.

He said: “The community trust has tidied them up before remembrance and games week but this year it was far more than we could deal with and we had make a public appeal for volunteers.

“There is a poor record of maintenance in the garden. There were 25 to 30 volunteers had to turn out just prior to games week because the memorial garden takes a part in the ceremony at the games and it was felt that the area was being neglected.

“It’s unfortunate that the Common Good doesn’t have any funding to help with these things. In Innerleithen it falls back to a few volunteers – everything that happens in Innerleithen now is done by volunteers.

“It’s just another thing we have taken on and I don’t think it’s an appropriate thing we should be doing as volunteers.”

Tweeddale East councillor Robin Tatler said: “I think we can take on-board to ask parks and recreation to look at maintaining these gardens while we wait for them to be completely redone.”