South Scotland

Hawick flood scheme cost increase 'likely'

Flooding in 2002 Image copyright Scottish Borders Council
Image caption The scheme would tackle long-standing flooding issues in the town

A cost increase is "likely" on a £44m flood scheme for Hawick which has fallen behind schedule.

However, a councillor for the town said it was not a "major hiccup" and they would "keep going" to complete it.

A report to Scottish Borders Council said the start date for construction of other projects linked to the scheme had been put back six months.

A spokesperson added extra funding from partners was imminent which would "likely result in a change to budget".

Image copyright Hawick Flood Group

"The council approved the re-profiling of Hawick flood protection scheme's overall project programme at a council meeting on 29 November 2018," a statement said.

"The budget for the scheme has not yet been formally re-estimated so the figure currently remains as approximately £44m.

"The scheme is on the verge of receiving additional funding from partner organisations which will likely result in a change to the budget."

A full update on the total cost is expected later this year.

'Slight delay'

Councillor George Turnbull, who represents Hawick, said that the "slight delay" and negotiations with the Scottish government over funding would not halt the plans.

"I am very positive that it won't cause major hiccups for the townspeople," he said.

"Obviously we need to reassure all the residents and the businesses that we are fully intent to go ahead and keep going until the job is done."

Construction is now expected to start in January 2020 with completion due by November 2022.

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