South Scotland

Hawick flood protection scheme design approved

Hawick aerial view Image copyright Scottish Borders Council
Image caption It is hoped the scheme for Hawick can be completed by 2022

A major flood protection scheme for Hawick has moved closer after the final outline design of the project was approved by councillors.

The latest estimated total cost for the scheme is just over £41m.

The Scottish government is expected to provide 80% of the funding with the remainder coming from Scottish Borders Council.

Approval of the outline design now means official publication of the scheme can take place next month.

That opens the project up to potential objections, which the project team said it had aimed to minimise by "carrying out extensive proactive engagement".

Upon publication of the scheme there is a formal 28-day objection period before councillors will be asked to give final approval for the scheme, which is expected to take place in September this year.

Image copyright Scottish Borders Council
Image caption The council has tried to minimise potential objections via a series on consultation events

Completion of the project is currently scheduled for March 2022.

Gordon Edgar, the council's executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: "Significant progress has been made by the council to the Hawick flood protection scheme in recent months.

"The process has been aided by engagement with the public, community groups and businesses in order to overcome key issues, which if raised as objections after publication of the scheme could have led to delays.

"The support from members of the Hawick community has been invaluable, and the council is committed to delivering a flood protection scheme for townsfolk who have suffered from flooding in recent years."

He said the official opening of the Selkirk flood protection scheme earlier in the week had shown the "tangible benefits" of such projects with 600 homes and businesses now protected.

"We believe the Hawick flood protection scheme can provide similar opportunities around business growth and employment, as well as providing protection to people's homes from major flood events," he said.

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