‘Shot in the arm for economy’ at Burnfoot development

WORK has begun on the Burnfoot South Development, writes Gavin Gibbon.

And local councillor Jock Houston has described the start as “very good news” for Burnfoot and Hawick and “a real shot in the arm for the local economy”.

The project should create six plots extending to almost one hectare. Just under 200m of road is to be built while “substantial” woodland areas will be planted around the site for screening, shelter and amenity.

Councillor Houston, who is also chairman of the planning committee, told the Hawick News: “We can’t attract new or expanding businesses without providing for sale fully-serviced sites on which they can build premises straight away, tailored to their own specifications.”

At the moment earth-moving work is taking place, with huts and machinery on site.

It is understood a delay was caused as the successful bidder for the work was the council’s in-house contractor who needed clarification from the Scottish Government. It was also held up because of the Christmas break.

The site, opposite Barrie Knitwear, was purchased by the council in March last year for £85,000 as part of a Borders-wide project, with similar schemes undertaken in Coldstream, Duns and Lauder. Funding for all three projects – approximately £3million – was secured mainly from the European Regional Development Fund.

Local councillor Stuart Marshall, who has previously accused SBC of “dragging its feet” over the project, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that at long last this development will be taking shape soon.”

Work is due to be completed in May.