From wool to weights as bid is made for a new gym in part of a former Hawick mill

Folk may soon be pumping iron instead of weaving wool at a former Hawick mill after a bid to convert part of it into two new sports gyms was revealed.

By Paul Kelly
Monday, 15th March 2021, 11:18 am
Councillor Davie Paterson at Round Close, Hawick. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Councillor Davie Paterson at Round Close, Hawick. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Polish-born developer Jacek Zwizchlewski has submitted a partially retrospective planning application to Scottish Borders Council to create three storage units and two sports gyms at the former Glenmac mill in Teviot Road.

The owner of A1 Border Moves and Storage, in Princess Street in Hawick commissioned architects Aitken and Turnbull to look at options to redevelop the mill.

The building is currently on an ‘at risk’ register because of its condition but has received regeneration funding for repair work.

The plan is to retain the existing fabric of the building and divide it into five units – two self storage units on the ground floor, two gym units on the first floor and a third storage unit on the second floor.

A spokesperson for the architects said: “Our client has identified the need for gym accommodation in the town and currently has one operator and is looking to expand this use on the first floor. He has also identified a need for self storage units and has commenced the installation in one unit and intends to expand this facility.

"As the building is within the town centre it is anticipated that most gym users will be local and will be able to visit on foot. There is a public car park adjacent to the facility which can be used by those visiting in cars.”

Back in 2002 conditional planning approval was granted to convert the building into a cinema and entertainment complex, but the application came to nothing.

Three years later, a bid was made to demolish the ex-woollen mill and build flats on the site, but that application was later withdrawn too.

Then in 2019 the building was given a share in a £1.5m conservation scheme for the town to bring the building back to life.

The planning bid has been welcomed by Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson, who said: “I have to say that if it’s going to bring the building back into use then I am all for it.

“I wouldn’t stand in the way of something which was going to bring jobs and rejuvenate that area. I would not object to that. It has to be welcomed.”