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Border star could still shine brightly

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By Tom Hanley
Annan and Eskdale
Border star could still shine brightly

HOPES are high that a planned landmark sculpture on the border will still go ahead - as supporters claim the location of the Solway Wind Farm does not alter plans.

The Star of Caledonia at Gretna has already got planning approval and was due to begin construction in 2015, but things stalled after the team missed out on vital funding from Creative Scotland and the public sector.

Since then the Solway Windfarm has been constructed nearby, leading to questions about whether it would alter the plans for the sculpture.
However, this week Cllr Craig Peacock said: “It won’t change anything. You could make the argument that the windmills could detract from it aesthetically, but it won’t change the Star’s location or placement.
“We’re hopeful that all of the Borderlands working together could get us a big city deal, and the Star of Caledonia is one of our key projects in the tourism sector within Dumfries and Galloway.”
Meanwhile, Jan Hogarth, project manager for the Gretna Landmark Trust, is optimistic that the Borderlands Initiative may lead to funding for not just The Star of Caledonia, but the whole of East-Annandale.
She said: “Gretna is part of the Borderland Initiative, and obviously any funding would be dependant on how successful that initiative is. Due to its location, Gretna is a key location for the whole project.
“The initiative is exciting not just for Gretna though, but for the whole of East-Annandale that has so much potential if the area was promoted.”
Alasdair Houston, trust chairman, added: “The Star of Caledonia is not dead. It would be a remarkable project for the whole of south-west Scotland and the Borderland region.
“Our regional council needs to show vision and leadership and commit some capital to it, behind which other agencies will follow. There’s been far too much politics over the last five years which has given them an excuse not to make any big decisions.”