THE Great Tapestry of Scotland centre in Galashiels will open to the public next week, it has been revealed.
The High Street venue will welcome visitors for the first time on Thursday, August 26.
On Tuesday, author Alexander McCall Smith, whose vision it was to create the artwork, positioned the 160th and final tapestry panel in place with chief stitcher Dorie Wilkie.
Mr McCall Smith said: “The opening of this wonderful gallery marks the end of a long period of hard work by all of those who have created this astonishing tapestry and its permanent home.
“But it also marks the beginning of the public life of one of the great artistic creations of our time.”
Designed by artist Andrew Crummy, the Great Tapestry of Scotland is one of the world’s largest community arts projects.
It has been hand-stitched by a team of 1,000 people from across the country, using more than 300 miles of wool.
The design of the panels is based on a narrative written by Borders-based award-winning writer and historian Alistair Moffat.
The project has suffered setbacks over the past few years, with the original planned opening date being pushed back.
But Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for economic regeneration and finance, said he was “exceptionally proud” to see it come to fruition.
He said: “The Great Tapestry of Scotland truly is a national asset and we are exceptionally proud to be able to open this phenomenal gallery to house it in the Scottish Borders.
“The addition of new world class museums and galleries like The Great Tapestry of Scotland, the Trimontium museum and the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum add to our impressive array of visitor attractions across the beautiful Scottish Borders.”
As well as permanently displaying the Great Tapestry of Scotland itself, the facility will be home to a workshop space, where visitors can meet the makers; a café showcasing Scotland’s larder; a shop and Gallery 1420, which will host a series of visiting exhibitions.
To book tickets, or for more information visit greattapestryofscotland.com