No tenants yet for £5.2m interchange

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Three months after it was opened, Scottish Borders Council’s £5.2 Galashiels Transport Interchange has yet to sign up a single tenant for its extensive commercial accommodation.

Created as a “bus station and business hub” and also serving the town’s railway stop, the award-nominated building has eight lettable units, with total floor space of 5,500sq ft, on the first and second floors – collectively known as Waverley Chambers.

“There are currently no tenants, aside from First Bus who have operated from the building since it opened on August 6,” confirmed a council spokesperson this week.

“However, there has been a lot of interest in the rooms available for rent within the building with one potential client in advanced discussions about taking two rooms.

“If that goes ahead, there will be six units available for tenants, alongside a room which is currently being marketed as a conference centre.

“There have also been 12 conferences/meetings in the interchange since it opened with another 12 booked.

“Around half of these have been booked by organisations or individuals from out with the Borders”.

Notwithstanding the £3.4m of capital which SBC has invested in the building – with the balance being met from Euro funding – the local authority has, since April, considered three reports of the “operational viability” of the facility which is open 21 hours a day and staffed around the clock.

Last month’s SBC’s watchdog scrutiny committee agreed that a decision on whether or not to review the “financing arrangements” for the building should be considered at its next meeting on November 24.

The council spokesperson told us: “Financial monitoring of the interchange is at an early stage and is being reviewed on a monthly basis.”