Scottish Borders

Borders firm wins contract to redevelop museum to local hero Jim Clark

Jim Clark Room

Works to redevelop and expand the Jim Clark Room in Duns will start this summer, with Hawick firm James Swinton & Co Ltd winning the contract for the works.

The £1.6 million project is being taken forward by Scottish Borders Council in partnership with Live Borders, The Jim Clark Trust and the Jim Clark Memorial Room Trust.

The existing Jim Clark Room closed at the end of May to prepare for the redevelopment works.

Councillor Euan Jardine, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for culture and sport, said: “The new museum will be a fantastic facility which will do justice to Jim Clark and all he achieved in his tragically short life and will attract visitors from across the world.

“I look forward to visiting it when it opens next year, and I’m delighted that already this project is having a positive impact on the local economy, with a Scottish Borders firm winning the contract to carry out the redevelopment.”

Funding for the project has come from the council, the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and The Jim Clark Trust, the latter including a grant from the Fallago Environment Fund and individual donations from around the world.

The new museum, which will continue to be operated by Live Borders, will provide expanded exhibition space showcasing memorabilia and the trophy collection, two of Jim Clark’s race cars, new image galleries, film footage, interactive displays, technology and an education zone.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of charity Live Borders, said: “The excitement and interest there is around this project is fantastic and the Live Borders’ team is very much enjoying working in partnership to offer a visitor experience that will inspire and attract Jim Clark fans, motorsport enthusiasts and tourists alike.

“Our newly appointed Learning and Engagement Officer has been busy behind-the-scenes with education and community high on the agenda, as mirrored across the Live Borders portfolio.”

Construction will begin in July and the new museum is scheduled to re-open in late spring 2019.

Deputy First Minister marks start of construction at Jedburgh Campus

(from left) Bruce Dickson of BAM, Cllrs Hamilton and Haslam, Sana Saukawa & Alice Hickson of Howdenburn Primary School, Kira Renilson & Harry Brown of Jedburgh Grammar, Ella McGovern & Ellie Scott of Parkside Primary School, Deputy First Minister John Swinney & Paul McGirk of hub South East Scotland

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has helped mark the start of works on the new Jedburgh Intergenerational Community Campus.

Mr Swinney joined pupils from Jedburgh Grammar, Howdenburn and Parkside primary schools and Scottish Borders councillors for the ground breaking ceremony for the innovative new facility on land at Hartrigge Park yesterday.

Jedburgh Intergenerational Community Campus will replace all three schools, with provision for nursery, primary and secondary school children alongside further education.

Community facilities will include a multi-use games area, 2G hockey pitch, 3G sports pitch, 100m running track, external changing pavilion and rural skills area.

The funding for the new campus was confirmed by Mr Swinney in August 2017, as one of four projects to share £28 million from the latest phase of the Scottish Government’s £1.8 billion ‘Schools for the Future’ programme.

The project is being taken forward by Scottish Borders Council, its development partner hub South East Scotland and appointed main contractor BAM, while enabling works are currently being carried out by Jedburgh-based contractor RJT Excavations Ltd, providing local benefits.

The main construction will begin in autumn 2018, with the project on programme to open to learners by March 2020.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “I would like to thank Scottish Borders Council for inviting me to help mark the start of the process which will result in a fantastic new intergenerational campus that the whole community can be proud of.

“Learning and teaching in such an innovative and inspirational setting can make a real difference to education outcomes. That is why the Scottish Government is committed to improving Scotland’s school estate, and through our £1.8bn Schools for the Future building programme, we are providing almost £18m towards this project.”

Artist impression of the entrance of the campus by architects Stallan-Brand

Councillor Shona Haslam, Scottish Borders Council leader, said: “This is another hugely significant day for Jedburgh.

“While it is hard to imagine at the moment, in two years on this site we will have a brand facility which will benefit generations of people in the town.

“Extensive consultations in the community showed the vast majority were right behind the plans for a new intergenerational campus, which will provide for 2 to 102 year olds, with further education opportunities and community facilities for the whole town.

“During construction, a number of community benefits will be delivered to support the local economy, with a local firm already involved in the project.”

Paul McGirk, hub South East’s chief executive, said: “It’s exciting to mark the start of construction on site for the new campus and to be part of the team welcoming the Deputy First Minister to Jedburgh.

“We look forward to working with Scottish Borders Council and our supply chain to deliver a facility which supports a modern learning experience, fit for the needs of all generations.

“As a hub project we’re keen to ensure that a range of community benefits are realised throughout the build. I’m delighted to see Jedburgh based RJT Excavations is already benefiting from the opportunities available and we look forward to ensuring that even more local individuals and businesses can get involved during the delivery of this project.”

Plans for the new campus

Bruce Dickson, regional director, BAM Construction, added: “We were delighted to be selected to deliver this project by Hub South East and Scottish Borders Council and all of our team understand the importance of the new campus to the local community.

“It has been an impressive feat to get the project on site so quickly and demonstrates what can be achieved when everyone works in partnership to reach a common goal.”

Gemma Boggs, education delivery director at the Scottish Futures Trust, said: “Our expert management of the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme is helping all of Scotland’s 32 councils succeed in delivering the very best teaching and learning environments within ever-tightening budgets.

“As well as supporting many thousands of construction jobs, the programme is creating and delivering world-class, award-winning learning environments that not only meet future educational needs but are vibrant community assets as well.

“I am delighted to see Jedburgh Intergenerational Community Campus going into construction which is a shining example of what can be achieved with real cross-programme collaboration.”

Borders quarry snapped up by Breedon

Construction materials group Breedon has completed the acquisition of Blinkbonny Quarry (Borders) Limited for an undisclosed sum.

Blinkbonny operates a quarry and ready-mixed concrete plant near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, employing 14 people.

The acquisition provides group subsidiary Breedon Northern Limited with its first quarry in the region, with approximately 2.8 million tonnes of high-quality basalt hard rock reserves and resources and a fleet of ready-mixed concrete mixers and tippers together with a volumetric concrete mixer.

Alan Mackenzie, managing director of Breedon Northern, said: “Blinkbonny gives us a great opportunity to establish a presence in the Scottish Borders, through a business with long-term mineral reserves and resources. It is well invested, with modern plant and machinery, and has established an excellent reputation for quality and service among its customers in the surrounding area.”

The Roxburghe Hotel & golf course to undergo £30m refurb after sale to German hotelier

The Roxburghe hotel and golf course, near Kelso in the Scottish Borders has been sold to Düsseldorf-based project developer and hotel operator 12.18. Investment Management GmbH, having been marketed for offers in excess of £3.25 million.

Estate agent Savills, which brokered the sale, said the new owner plans to reopen the hotel and golf course in 2019 following a £30 million refurbishment programme to operate as SCHLOSS Roxburghe.

The 19th Century property currently comprises 22 rooms, a restaurant and bar that 12.18. aims to enhance with the addition of a separate extension to feature 57 additional rooms as well as a luxurious spa and a state-of-the-art meeting space.

In addition, 60 lodges will be built on the surrounding estate and will be made available for sale to private investors through a sale-and lease-back concept that will allow the new SCHLOSS Roxburghe to extend its room inventory further to holiday-makers.

The Duke of Roxburghe said: “The plans which the new owners have for major investment in the Roxburghe are very exciting indeed. We wish 12.18. every success with the new development and the operation in future and I have no doubt that it will become one of the most outstanding resort destinations in Scotland. I would like to pay particular thanks to all the staff who have worked with great dedication to deliver exceptional standards of service to our guests over the years.”

Steven Fyfe, associate director in the hotels agency team at Savills, added: “It was important we secured a buyer who could invest in the future of the hotel and golf course while respecting and maintaining the Roxburghe’s Scottish heritage. As one of Scotland’s most charming country house hotels, the sale of the Roxburghe attracted very strong interest from buyers, both from the UK and from abroad.”

According to Savills research, investment activity in the Scottish hotels market in the first quarter of 2018 totalled £105.85 million – an increase of 90.3 per cent year-on-year and exceeding the five year average by 63.1 per cent.

Summer start for Jim Clark Room redevelopment

Works to redevelop and expand the Jim Clark Room in Duns will start this summer, Scottish Borders Council (SBC) has confirmed.

The £1.6 million project will see the existing small exhibition space redeveloped to create a modern museum to celebrate the life and achievements of Jim Clark, a double Formula One world champion.

The new museum will provide expanded exhibition space showcasing memorabilia and the trophy collection, two of Jim Clark’s race cars, new image galleries, film footage, interactive displays, technology and an education zone.

The project is being taken forward by the council in partnership with Live Borders, The Jim Clark Trust and the Jim Clark Memorial Room Trust.

Funding has come from the council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and The Jim Clark Trust, the latter including a grant from the Fallago Environment Fund and individual donations from around the world.

The new museum will continue to be operated by Live Borders.

The existing museum facility will be open until the end of May this year, including over the weekend of 7 and 8 April, when a programme of events has been prepared to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragic death of the double Formula One World Champion. The museum will close on 31 May, with the new museum expected to open in late spring next year.

Councillor Euan Jardine, SBC’s executive member for culture and sport, said: “Thanks to the funding support from a range of partners this exciting project will provide a superb facility to highlight the remarkable achievements of Jim Clark to visitors from across the world and will be open in time for the tourist season next year.

“The Jim Clark Trust’s fundraising campaign attracted support from across the UK and far beyond, with donations large and small contributing towards their £300,000 total, and I’d like to thank the Trust and all their supporters for helping us make this project possible.

“The development of a high quality, modern museum in Duns to celebrate the life of Jim Clark, who is still considered amongst the greatest ever racing drivers, will bring visitors in from across the world and will be a fantastic boost to the local economy of Berwickshire and the wider Scottish Borders.”

The Jim Clark Trust, Club Lotus, Live Borders and Chirnside Common Good Association have collaborated to put together the upcoming weekend of events

Hunt on for best new Borders building

(from left) Councillor Tom Miers, Hugo Burge and Ian Aikman, Scottish Borders Council’s chief planning officer, at Marchmont House to launch the Borders Building Design Awards 2018

The search is on again for the best designed new buildings in the Borders, with the launch of the Borders Building Design Awards 2018.

The awards intend to promote good building design in the Borders and to strengthen links between builders, architects, Scottish Borders Council planners and other professionals in the industry.

Councillor Tom Miers, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for planning and environment, launched the 2018 awards at Marchmont House in Berwickshire, which scooped an award in 2016 and is hosting this year’s event.

Councillor Miers said: “The Borders Building Design Awards aim to encourage the highest quality building design across the Borders whether it is modern, innovative or traditional.

“Good building design is a priority for this Council. It enhances our surroundings and quality of life, and is essential if we want to attract new jobs and investment to the Borders.

“Our sponsors are a huge part of these awards because creating a legacy of great building design in the Borders is down to the industry itself and these companies are putting their money where their mouth is in this belief.”

Hugo Burge of Marchmont House added: “We are delighted to host these awards, celebrating excellence in creativity in the built environment, which is very much a fit for our aspirations.”

Alongside Marchmont House, property consultants Knight Frank, independent builders’ merchant MKM Building Supplies and window, door and offsite building suppliers Sidey Solutions are sponsoring the 2018 awards.

James Denne from Knight Frank’s Borders office, said: “These awards help to underline how important the quality and design of the buildings we all live and work in are to the Scottish Borders.

“Period houses and buildings, conversions and new build projects all have a part to play in developing our quality of life in this beautiful part of the country.”

The competition was last held in 2016 as part of a range of activities to celebrate the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and the Festival of Architecture.

The winners from the 2016 event

This year, there are four separate entry categories:

  • New Build (individual buildings) residential
  • New Build (individual buildings) non-residential
  • Placemaking (new developments that contribute to creating a sense of place)
  • Work to Existing Buildings (including conversions/extensions)

All types of projects are eligible from small to large scale, urban or rural, domestic or commercial, and if appropriate, applications can be considered for more than one category or award.

Projects must be within the Scottish Borders area and have been completed, or will be completed, in the period between 1 January 2016 and 31 March 2018.

Either the owner or the designer can make applications to the awards, and there is no entry fee.

Submissions should be made no later than Friday 11 May 2018. Details and application forms are available at www.scotborders.gov.uk/designawards.

The forms are also available by writing to the Lead Officer (Built Heritage & Design), Scottish Borders Council HQ, Newtown St Boswells, TD6 0SA; phone 01835 826563 or email heritage@scotborders.gov.uk.

Local infrastructure to benefit from Scottish Borders budget plans

Drone image of the River Teviot through Hawick

Scottish Borders Council has agreed its budget for the year ahead as part of a five-year revenue plan and a ten-year capital plan.

The budget will see an investment of over £22 million in roads and bridges over three years, with £79m planned investment over the next 10 years. A total of £89m has been allocated to improve the school estate over 10 years as well as a £11.7m contribution to the £41m Hawick Flood Protection Scheme.

The budget also includes:

  • £1.2m additional funding towards teenage mental health provision
  • £4.125m over 10 years to provide grants for home adaptations to enable people to live at home for longer
  • £2.8m over four years for new and improved outdoor community spaces
  • £0.282m for a community policing team to prevent low level criminal activity and deal with issues such as parking
  • £0.5m for youth intervention work
  • £0.350m for shared access paths
  • £0.2m to improve access to youth opportunities, through travel and digital initiatives
  • £4.8m for a specialist dementia residential facility
  • £2m towards the re-opening of Reston Station
  • £0.799m to support the regeneration of Eyemouth
  • £1m to assist in delivering town centre regeneration
  • £2m for road safety works at the A72 Dirtpot Corner in 2018/19

Up to 35 full-time equivalent posts may be removed during the next year as a result of structural changes and more efficient service provision at the council. This figure is based on average salaries.

The council said it has been preparing for potential staff reductions by holding 65 vacancies and this, alongside a natural staff turnover level of 10%, will all contribute to a managed reduction of the workforce without impacting on existing staff wherever possible.

Council leader Shona Haslam said: “Every part of the Scottish Borders will benefit from the budget agreed today, from town centre regeneration to investment in our roads and specialist services to support our most vulnerable residents.

“We have committed substantial funding to deliver projects such as a specialist dementia care facility, further new and improved schools, increased community policing and youth programmes, but the measure I am most proud of is the additional £1.2m to focus on our young people.

“This will provide respite care for families and supported living opportunities, provide round the clock youth services and funds to help young people access further education opportunities. This programme is focused on intervention, prevention and innovation.

“We are also contributing towards the re-opening of Reston Station, the £41m Hawick Flood Protection Scheme and new and improved visitor attractions in Galashiels, Duns and Selkirk.

“What is good for one area of the Borders is good for all, and many of these projects will deliver wider economic benefits, from work for local contractors to increased visitor numbers. Through this budget we have also sought to protect front line services and have committed to modernising them and making them more efficient so they are sustainable in the longer term.”

Councillor George Turnbull, executive member for finance, added: “The council is facing a substantial funding gap due to resource constraints, increasing demand and demographic changes. We are investing heavily in a range of important areas, but have had to make some difficult decisions, including increasing Council Tax by three per cent.

“We are committed to further internal changes to make the council more efficient and less costly to run, whilst still maintaining high quality services. This ranges from amending the operating hours of our Community Recycling Centres to match demand to delivering more online services and further changes to working practices.”

£12m hotel and supermarket plans unveiled for Tweedbank

Developers have unveiled £12 million plans for a hotel and retail project near to the Borders Railway terminus in Tweedbank.

Edinburgh-based New Land Assets (NLA) said the development at the corner of Tweedbank Drive and the main A6091 road would include a supermarket, coffee shop and petrol station and could create up to 100 job opportunities in the area.

NLA said the creation of the Borders Gateway could help attract further investment in the area.

Duncan Hamilton, managing director of NLA, said: “Piggy-backing on the success of the reopening of the Borders Railway, we are delighted to bring forward these exciting plans at the Borders Gateway site.”

He said they would “deliver new and additional facilities” and also create “new job opportunities for local people”.

“The feedback we have already received has been really positive and there is a lot of excitement about our investment,” he said.

“We have talked to a lot of people already but we want to talk to more people and get their views.”

Developers have confirmed a BP filling station and Wild Bean M&S cafe are included in the plans, while an announcement on the discount supermarket chain is expected “shortly”.

Premier Inn and Travelodge have previously expressed an interest in finding a suitable site in the area and could well sign up to the 60-bed budget hotel proposal.

A public consultation on the plans will take place on March 14 at Tweedbank Community Centre from 2pm to 8pm.

Scottish Borders Council unveils £294m capital investment plan in draft budget

Drone image of the River Teviot showing work on the Hawick Flood Protection Scheme

More than £294 million is proposed to be spent on infrastructure throughout the Borders over the next ten years as part of a draft financial plan from the local authority.

Scottish Borders Council’s budget plans, to be considered at a meeting of the council on  February 20, include a three year investment plan of £22m to be spent on the area’s roads and bridges and a ten year school estate improvement plan of £89m.

The Administration’s budget includes:

  • £2.1m over three years for new and improved outdoor community spaces
  • £4.8m for a specialist dementia residential facility
  • Over £22m investment in roads and bridges over three years, with £79m planned investment over the next 10 years
  • £89m to improve the school estate over 10 years
  • £8.3m contribution to the £41m Hawick Flood Protection Scheme
  • £2m towards the re-opening of Reston Station
  • £0.799m to support the regeneration of Eyemouth
  • £1m to assist in delivering town centre regeneration
  • £2m for road safety works at the A72 Dirtpot Corner in 2018/19

Council leader Shona Haslam said: “We have developed a budget which builds on opportunities and improves the lives of Borderers, whatever their age. It focuses on delivering quality services, opportunities for all in a thriving economy, empowering communities and enabling people to live independently and achieve their goals.

“We are committed to investing in services to help the most vulnerable in society, both young and old, deliver improvements to our roads, build new schools and support businesses by stimulating the local economy and improving our town centres.

“This budget also protects teacher numbers and frontline council services, whilst also recognising that we must modernise service delivery and make efficiencies.

“We are proposing a three per cent increase in Council Tax, which will generate around £1.6m for next year’s budget. Council Tax makes up less than a quarter of all the funding we receive, and this increase is only the second in 10 years, during which time the funds we receive from other sources has reduced and demand for services has increased.”

Jedburgh intergenerational community campus wins government approval

Plans for a new intergenerational community campus in Jedburgh are gathering pace with a series of positive announcements.

The Scottish Government has this week given the go-ahead to Scottish Borders Council (SBC) to build the campus, and formally close the existing nursery, primary, secondary and specialist provision in the town.

The procedural decision by the government follows SBC planning committee’s approval of the planning application in January.

Both announcements mean that there are no legislatory barriers to the start of work on the Jedburgh intergenerational community campus which will replace Jedburgh Grammar, Howdenburn and Parkside primary schools, and will be located on land at Hartrigge Park.

The campus will have provision for nursery, primary and secondary school children, and community facilities will include a multi-use games area, 2G hockey pitch, 3G sports pitch, running track, external changing pavilion and rural skills area.

The project has seen SBC team up with development partner hub South East Scotland and Stallan-Brand Architects, while BAM Construction is the appointed contractor.

The funding for the new campus was confirmed by Deputy First Minister John Swinney in August 2017, as one of four projects to share £28 million from the latest phase of the Scottish Government’s £1.8 billion ‘Schools for the Future’ programme.

As a result of these approvals, site clearance work will begin, with tree specialists carefully removing a small number of trees affected by the plans over the coming weeks.

Following this, some advance groundworks will start in spring and once contracts are signed in the summer, the council will mark the official start of construction on site, with the new school being complete by March 2020.

Councillor Shona Haslam, SBC’s leader, said: “I am delighted we are making good progress towards opening a new intergenerational community campus for Jedburgh in 2020.

“The new facility will serve the whole community, from 2 to 102 year olds, with further education opportunities and community facilities for the town.

“This project has involved a huge amount of work by various stakeholders, with the vast majority of local people taking part in the extensive consultations supporting the plans.

“This is an innovative scheme to delivery nursery, primary and secondary provision simultaneously as well as significant regeneration benefits to Jedburgh.

“Health and wellbeing, employment, lifelong learning, culture, tourism and high quality collaboration space for local businesses with high quality digital connectivity are just some of the benefits this new campus will offer.”

Scott Brown, projects director for hub South East, said: “It’s great to see the plans for this new campus for Jedburgh progressing at pace and we look forward to working with Scottish Borders Council and our contractor BAM Construction to deliver a facility which supports a modern learning experience, fit for the needs of all generations.

“We’re also keen to ensure that the project delivers real community benefits during its construction and we will be offering a range of opportunities locally, so that individuals and small businesses in the Borders can benefit from the investment being made in this fantastic new development.”