Commercial Road could soon be home to a £10million whisky distillery – providing the town with a huge retail and tourism boost.
Three Stills Company director John Fordyce has plans to build the first distillery in the Scottish Borders and has identified the former Turnbull & Scott premises in Commercial Road, pictured above.
And the Hawick News understands the company is in the process of raising the required funds and that an exciting announcement is due within weeks. Councillor Watson McAteer welcomed the proposal and said it would be a huge coup for the town.
He said: “Councillor Stuart Marshall and I have been aware of this project for some considerable time and have been working alongside the stakeholders to support its development.
“While there is a long way to go, the prospect of a modern distillery situated in the heart of Hawick and the Borders is fantastic news for the entire community and the existing businesses in Commercial Road.”
Councillor McAteer added that the distillery would highlight the town’s future development potential.
And he added: “Not only will the distillery create new and diverse employment opportunities, it will place Hawick firmly on the tourist map, creating a golden opportunity for all businesses in the town and local area.
“Now that this news has been made public, we will work with the developers, Scottish Borders Council and Business Gateway to ensure there are no unnecessary obstacles placed in the way of this exciting venture.”
Fellow Hawick Councillor Stuart Marshall said: “It really is a great news story and if this proposal comes to fruition then we must embrace it wholeheartedly.
“It could be another fantastic opportunity for our town and we can’t afford to let it pass us by. What a real shot in the arm for Hawick and we must continue to keep working with whoever to ensure that this project gets as much support as possible.”
Whisky-related websites and blogs have been buzzing for weeks at the prospect of a Borders distillery and this week a national newspaper reported that Scotland rugby legend Finlay Calder had been appointed to lead Edinburgh-based Mossburn Distiller’s bid to transform the former Jedforest Hotel, three miles south of Jedburgh, into a distillery and bottling plant, creating a number of jobs in the area.
Local developer Gavin Stevenson contacted the Hawick News before we went to press yesterday (Thursday) and told us that the announcement was imminent and that those behind the project would be issuing press statements today (Friday).