South Scotland

Hawick business boost plans agreed

Hawick Image copyright Walter Baxter
Image caption Key sites for investment have been identified in the town

The Scottish government has agreed to council proposals on how to spend more than £3.6m to boost economic development in Hawick.

The funding was awarded to help deal with a series of employment setbacks.

Scottish Borders Council submitted its spending proposals earlier this month including the immediate development of a number of key sites.

The local authority said ongoing negotiations meant specific details of the projects could not be released.

A second phase will see a feasibility studied carried out on other prominent sites in the town.

'Damp squib'

The council said the projects being funded would provide "new job opportunities to benefit the local community" and also "act as a catalyst for further potential property development in the future".

However, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont described it as a "damp squib" for businesses in the town.

"Back in September, I called for the £3.6m investment to be used wisely and for Scottish Borders Council to be bold in its plans," he said.

"More feasibility studies and some 'secret' offices are hardly the ambitious plans Hawick needed.

"What Hawick's High Street really needs is a co-ordinated plan like the creation of an enterprise zone to attract businesses and investment."

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