Scottish Borders-based stone carver and artist Luke Batchelor has been appointed as the Artist in Residence for the final year of the Hawick Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) project.

Luke will help to deliver a co-created community art project which will celebrate the unique heritage of Hawick and provide another lasting legacy from the £1.5 heritage project, which comes to a close in March 2025.

An accomplished stone carver, artist and gold ‘squeeze’ expert, Luke’s passion is creating unique and bespoke works by hand, with the very best local and environmentally friendly materials.

He will work closely with the Hawick Museum and Heart of Hawick creative team and there will be many opportunities for members of the community to actively participate in the design and creation of a final piece of stone art that will be a permanent installation in Hawick.

Luke said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the community to develop a unique piece of stone art for Hawick and look forward to getting involved with workshops and events over the next 12 months.”

Hawick CARS is a partnership project developed with Scottish Borders Council and Historic Environment Scotland, offering grant support towards the repair works of traditional buildings (pre-1919) to conservation standards, as well as supporting complementary initiatives to increase understanding of the town’s rich heritage and promotion of traditional skills.

Councillor John PatonDay, Scottish Borders Council’s Champion for the Creative Arts, said: “I am delighted that we have secured a locally-based artist to take on this role as we enter the final 12 months of the Hawick CARS project.

“As a stone carver with a background in stonework conservation in historic buildings, there is a real connection between Luke’s work and the Hawick CARS project and I am sure the passionate Hawick community will help shape a very fitting piece to celebrate the town.”

More information and examples of Luke’s work can be found on his website – Luke is also taking part in the Borders Art Fair at the Borders Events Centre in Kelso from 15 to 17 March.