Dram good news on the jobs front

Commercial Road site for new Hawick distillery
Commercial Road site for new Hawick distillery

Work will begin in the new year to build a £10million whisky distillery in Commercial Road.

It will be the first facility of this type in the Borders for almost 200 years and will provide a real shot in the arm for the town with 20 jobs being created.

The Three Stills Company (TTSC) announced on Wednesday that it has secured the necessary £10million funding to redevelop the empty Turnbull and Scott premises.

The company, which was established in 2013 by George Tait, John Fordyce, Tim Carton and Tony Roberts will lodge plans to convert the buildings, which will include a visitor centre, early next year.

Speaking to the Hawick News, TTSC director and project leader John Fordyce said: “Hawick has a very proud legacy as the centre for textile production and we felt very strongly that we wanted to uphold this rich industrial tradition and bring back distilling to the region after such a long absence.

“The historical context was one major factor in us identifying Hawick, but so was access to natural resources and raw materials.”

He added that the area’s rich natural resources made Hawick an attractive proposition: “There is a plentiful supply of pure water which the mills have depended on for cashmere and tweed production.

“It’s one of the reasons behind Hawick’s reputation for quality manufacturing.

“We also have on our doorstep Scotland’s most fertile barley producing land.

“We will be creating jobs in the local area by tapping into a skilled labour market and increasing tourism in the region through our visitor centre.”

Scotland is home to over 100 malt and grain distilleries and more than 10,000 people are directly employed by the industry, which generates £3.95billion in export sales and accounts for approximately 25 per cent of UK exports in food and drink.

The Hawick News broke the original story of a potential distillery for the town at the end of July and has kept in touch with those close to the project.

Councillor Stuart Marshall is welcoming the news: “This is fantastic for Hawick and will create real job opportunities and become a huge tourist attraction.

“Those supporting this venture have strong Borders connections and recognise the unique quality of our people and area and I look forward to welcoming them to Hawick.”

Also delighted is Councillor Watson McAteer who added: “This £10million investment in a new distillery in the heart of our town is exactly what Hawick needs.

“Redeveloping an established site in Commercial Road provides a much-needed boost. We are witnessing new momentum to improve Hawick and we must do all in our power to keep this going.

“The Three Stills Distillery is a game-changer and creates a unique opportunity for our town that we must grab with both hands.”