Relocating a council advice service 12 miles south looks set to help do the business for Hawick.
Scottish Borders Council’s Business Gateway service is to move to Tower Mill in Hawick later this month after 16 years in Selkirk.
The eight-strong team has been based at Ettrick Riverside, off Dunsdale Road, since 2001, but it is on the move now to enable one of its neighbours there, a private-sector firm, to expand into the office it currently occupies.
Tweeddale East councillor Stuart Bell, the authority’s executive member for economic development, said: “Our Business Gateway service offers a wide range of advice, support and training for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors and at all stages of development, and will continue to do so from a new base in Hawick town centre.
“This move supports elements of the Hawick action plan, developed in partnership between the council, Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government and local business community, and it will provide a high street premises for the service for the first time. This will make it easier for people to drop in to see the business advisers and generate increased footfall in Hawick town centre.
“By working in partnership with Live Borders, who operate Tower Mill and a wide range of other facilities and community centres, the service will increase delivery of workshops to businesspeople and entrepreneurs across the Scottish Borders, while also minimising rental costs.”
Business Gateway manager Phil McCreadie said: “After many successful years in Selkirk, the team is looking forward to being based in Hawick and the new opportunities this will present.
“We will continue to operate on a locality basis, with advisers working closely with businesses in communities across the Borders to help them achieve their aims.
“We look forward to making use of other Live Borders premises to provide a local service across the area and delivering a wide range of workshops.”
Initiatives delivered in the Borders through Business Gateway include its business fund, open to all businesses employing fewer than 50 employees, and its business loan fund, aimed at firms that have been trading for over 12 months and employing fewer than 50 workers.