Page last updated at 12:51 GMT, Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Historic festival funds unveiled

Return to the Ridings
The traditional common ridings and festivals will be brought together next year for the first time in their long history

A funding package is on offer as part of plans to bring the Borders common ridings together for the first time.

The Return to the Ridings event - part of the 2009 Year of Homecoming - has announced a 16,500 grant scheme.

The funds will support improvements to the common ridings to create a "legacy" for next year and beyond.

The towns involved are Hawick, West Linton, Selkirk, Peebles, Melrose, Galashiels, Jedburgh, Duns, Kelso, Lauder and Coldstream.

Councillor Vicky Davidson of Scottish Borders Council said the community grant initiative should benefit all the committees and volunteers who "help keep our traditions alive".

First steps

The scheme has been welcomed by Andrew Johnston, the chairman of the Borders Common Ridings and Festivals Association.

He said: "The grant initiative is one of the first steps in ensuring 2009 is a memorable year for all the common ridings and festivals and for our visitors from both home and abroad."

The improvements to be funded by the project will be announced later this year.

Next year all the traditional celebrations - most of which date back centuries - will be brought together for the first time as part of the Scottish Homecoming events.

In pictures: Selkirk Common Riding
16 Jun 08 |  In Pictures

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