GRETNA has held the first of three Borderlands Place Plan events to gather opinions from local residents about the town’s future.
The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is a partnership with the aim to improve places, support businesses, innovations and skills, enable infrastructure and encourage green growth.
Since its inception in 2021, Gretna was one of the first five towns to put their names forward for funding.
While the grants are yet to be given out, it is vital that Gretna knows exactly what to do with their share, and community leaders are calling on residents to attend these events and submit their ideas and feelings about the town.
Their ideas will then be collated into a place plan to be submitted, but could also be used for other funds and grants should they arise.
At Tuesday’s event in the Richard Greenhow Centre, four questions were posed.
Under opportunities to improve, suggestions included the Star of Caledonia, the addition of a banking hub and a retirement home, the renovation of St Andrew’s Church and opportunities for business incubation.
When asked about potential threats to Gretna’s prosperity, answers included anti-social behaviour, lack of entertainment for younger people, too much of a focus on weddings and the notion that Gretna is becoming a town of commuters rather than a community.
Annandale East and Eskdale Councillor Archie Dryburgh, pictured, who attended the event, said: “Gretna is the gateway to Scotland, so improving it could lead to improvements across Dumfries and Galloway.
“I am keen that people do get involved. As long as people across Gretna pitch in and attend these events, we can use the ideas generated as a springboard to do great things for the town.
“I want to see my area thrive, create new things and enhance what we already have, but I cannot do it without support from the residents of Gretna.”
There will be another drop in session on Tuesday at Gretna Hall from 2-5 pm and 5.30-7.30 pm.
A third and final session will also take place on December 1 at Stormont Hall from 2-4 pm.