Construction jobs boost expected as Scottish Borders Council acquires Lowood Estate

Potentially over 670 jobs will be created with the development of five sites in Tweedbank, including Lowood Estate, which has been purchased by Scottish Borders Council.

A report to full council on December 20 will outline a series of development plans for four sites on the Borders Innovation Park which could create 160 new jobs as well as another estimated 160 during construction.

A potential new Station Square for Tweedbank is in the masterplan proposals. Image courtesy of Proctor and Matthews Architects

The multi-use development of parts of Lowood Estate, acquired by the local authority for £9.6 million, could create an estimated 179 new jobs as well as 173 construction jobs.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development, said: “There are a series of opportunities for significant development on some key sites in Tweedbank, with many of those well progressed. This will be carried out and funded by the council, a range of partners including Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government, and the private sector.

“We look forward to all these coming to fruition and seeing very substantial employment opportunities, both in the construction phase and longer term, which is extremely exciting for the whole of the Scottish Borders due to the wider economic benefits this would provide.

“In addition, by acquiring Lowood Estate the council now controls a vital site which has significant development potential for both the public and private sector, associated employment benefits and the scope for the delivery of a large number of homes.

“The development potential of these sites has been hugely boosted by the presence of the Borders Railway. By maximising the economic impact of the railway in its current form we strengthen the case for its potential future extension to Hawick and beyond.”

The Tweedbank Masterplan identifies the potential for new residential and business space development on Lowood Estate, as part of a wider Tweedbank expansion proposal, which would seek to attract existing and new residents and businesses moving into the area, including those who would wish to use the nearby Borders Railway as a key transport mode.

The prospectus also identifies opportunities to expand Tweedbank village and reposition the current industrial estate as a new Borders Innovation Park.

The Tweedbank Masterplan was developed as part of the Borders Railway Blueprint Programme, and was carried out at the same time as a similar piece of work on Galashiels. Both these masterplans present a variety of proposals to encourage people to live, learn, visit and work in the area, as well as attract inward investment through public and private investment and partnership working.

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