Stone falls off front of old mill

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Work to check the safety of masonry on the front of the Ettrick Riverside business centre in Selkirk has been ordered by its owners.

The safety check follows an incident on Tuesday last week when one of the facing stones on the extensive facade of the former Victorian mill in Dunsdale Road crashed to the ground.

“No one was hurt, and no further damage was caused,” said a spokesperson for Scottish Enterprise, owner of the complex at the former Ettrick and Yarrow Spinners Mill.

“A stonemason was called out the same day to do an initial inspection, and a building surveyor attended on Monday of this week to do a full survey.

“He has advised that we need to carry out a hammer test to the whole facade on the Dunsdale Road side of the building to determine if there are any other issues and if further remedial works are required.

“The test will be carried out by a specialist stonemason who will use a cherry-picker to access all areas.

“We are in the process of organising this at the moment.”

The spokesperson said immediate precautionary action had been taken to protect the public following last week’s incident.

“We have cordoned off the appropriate areas at the front of the building, while still protecting fire escapes, and have put protective covering over the fire exits,” she said.

“This only affects the front of the building, so tenants and the public are still able to access offices using the main entrance to the rear.”

Built in 1835, the building ceased to operate as a textile mill in 1988.

It was adapted into a business centre by the former Scottish Enterprise Borders between 1999 and 2002, with work to develop the building’s third floor being completed in 2007.

The transformation has cost around £6m, including £1.5m of European Union cash.

The site is now home to around 30 companies and 150 staff altogether.