Shared vision revealed for Wilton Mills site

ONCE the former Wilton Mills is demolished the site could be surrounded by hoardings which depict the story of Vision 2014.

That is the idea gathering pace amongst local schools after property developer Gavin Stevenson was given the go-ahead to bulldoze the historic building without any plans for redevelopment – but with instructions to improve its appearance with eight-foot hoardings.

Inspired by the decoration of billboards with children’s artwork during the construction of the Scottish Parliament, discussions between local councillor Jock Houston and teachers have led to hopes of decorating the tall boards with art. And developer Mr Stevenson has given the idea his full backing.

Burnfoot headteacher Janice Chapman, who is chairperson of Vision 2014, the Hawick Learning Community’s four-year project counting down to the quincentenary of Hornshole, said: “The idea of doing something on the hoarding was floated past us, and I have shared it with the headteachers from the other schools, who are supportive. The Vision 2014 steering group also thought it was a good idea.

“We are waiting on more details from Councillor Houston but the possibility of each school taking a section and painting a mural connected to the Vision 2014 project sounds very exciting. “

Councillor Houston says such a project would be both attractive and deter vandals, stating: “I think this is an excellent idea and well worth getting into. Obviously there will be costs for materials but hopefully the developer can cover this.”

Mr Stevenson told the Hawick News: “Any ideas would be most welcome.”

The developer has also revealed that a contract for demolition has been awarded and it is hoped works will commence as soon as bat and wild bird investigations have been completed. He added: “Archaeological and planning officials have met with us and significant and constructive progress was made.”