Scottish Enterprise (SE) is to shift its 35-strong Borders workforce from the offices it has occupied in Galashiels for the last 20 years to Selkirk.
And SE has already said there will be no job losses among its staff when it vacates the converted former Maxwell Hotel in Galashiels’ Bridge Street next year.
An SE spokesperson explained: “We will be moving our operations in the Borders to the business centre at Ettrick Riverside in Selkirk when the lease on our current office in Galashiels comes to an end towards later in 2012. Our new location will see us co-locate with Business Gateway and the business incubator space, and demonstrates a continued focus on our delivery and commitment to the Borders.”
Selkirk Chamber of Trade chairman Gordon Edgar was delighted when TheSouthern broke the news about SE’s move to him.
“That’s brilliant news and should a real boost to traders in the town,” he told us.
He added: “Some of the money the staff earn in wages will get spent in local shops, such as sandwich shops, newsagents, petrol stations, etc. And also, organisations like Scottish Enterprise often have a lot of people coming to visit them and that could mean a spin-off for other local businesses such as hotels.
“It will be an advantage having Scottish Enterprise base itself in Selkirk – no doubt about that.”
Mr Edgar drew comparisons with a move by Lyle & Scott from Hawick to Selkirk several years ago.
He went on: “Their staff spend money in the town and I would expect the same to happen with workers from Scottish Enterprise.
“At times like these, when everyone is facing financial challenges, a move like this is very good news for the local economy. It gets more money flowing round and as long as it is flowing round Selkirk, that has to be a good thing for the town and local businesses.”
However, the transfer of SE operations away from the town after two decades will come as a blow to Galashiels, with the prospect of a major building in the town being left empty.
The former Maxwell Hotel was built on the site of the smaller Commercial Hotel, which can be found on the 1858 town plan. Galashiels.