Pub unveils £800k plans to take over old butcher shop

Hunters Hall, High Street, Galashiels.
Hunters Hall, High Street, Galashiels.

Around 15 new jobs could be created in Galashiels as a UK pub chain has unveiled plans for expansion.

Watford-based pub giant, JD Wetherspoons, hopes to extend the seating area of its Galashiels-based Hunters Hall into the former JB Hogg butchers building next door, which has sat empty for three years.

If Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee approves the application, the proposals will also see the pub’s beer garden extended, complete with a covered outdoor dining area in place of a current garage building.

The proposals, drawn up by Architect CT, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, have an estimated development cost of around £800,000, adding an additional 914 square feet of customer space inside and an additional 900 square feet outside.

The family-friendly pub chain, well-known for restoring old buildings, hopes to retain the exterior aesthetic of the old butchers shop as much as possible.

In a design statement submitted to Scottish Borders Council in support of the application, a spokesperson said: “The majority of the existing appearance will remain the same with the front elevation of the butchers re-using existing openings.

“Whilst to the rear the existing outbuildings will be retained in form with mainly internal alterations including the removal of the intermediate floor to enhance the space and make suitable for an external dining area.”

They added: “During the design of the current proposals, it has been noted that the proposed development is located within the Galashiels conservation area, and as such the proposals to the front elevation are very minor.

“Moreover, the retention of the rear outbuilding ensures the understanding of the built fabric of the site is retained.”

The butchers at 60 High Street closed in 2013 when 67-year-old butcher, Jim Hogg, retired, seeing the business close its doors after 90 years of operation.

At the time, Mr Hogg said big supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda, which both have large stores in the town centre, were to blame for the demise of many small town centre 
traders.