£125,000 Hawick racecourse revamp plans approved

Hawick councillor George Turnbull at the St Leonard's Park race track.
Hawick councillor George Turnbull at the St Leonard's Park race track.
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An application for a £125,000 upgrade at St Leonard’s Park Racecourse on Hawick Town Moor has crossed the finishing line.

A joint application was submitted in January by Hawick’s common good fund and common riding committee to provide new accommodation on site to replace and supplement its existing facilities.

The plans include a new room for use by the common riding committee, plus new public toilets, a jockeys’ changing room, weighing room and stewards’ room.

Those facilities already exist but are considered to be past their sell-by date, besides being scattered around several buildings on the site.

It is anticipated that a number of the existing sub-standard structures will be removed on completion of the proposed project.

Now the proposals, described as “very exciting” by Hawick and Hermitage councillor George Turnbull, have been agreed following a recommendation from Julie Hayward, the council’s lead planning officer.

In her report, she says: “This is a long-established racecourse. The building would be used during the common riding weekend in June and for race meetings.

“The proposal would improve and consolidate the existing facilities.”

Due to the limited use of the facility, it is intended that the building will be of basic construction of an agricultural form, with concrete strip foundations, concrete floor and concrete block external walls and internal partitions.

The site to be redeveloped is located within the current paddock area of the racecourse and immediately south of the existing service road.

The new facility will principally be used during the annual common riding weekend in early June and for four or five race meetings to be held over the course of the summer.

Mr Turnbull, chairman of the common good fund, said: “Some of the old buildings there are past their sell-by-date.

“Fortunately, the Hawick Common Riding Committee is in a good financial position and is donating £125,000 to the common good fund to manage the construction of these new agricultural buildings, including new male and female toilets, which will reduce the cost of providing portable loos.

“The longer-term plans are to provide other events on the moor and to rent out the buildings.”