Hawick textile mill given go-ahead for extension to house new loom

Hawick’s textile industry is continuing to show signs of revival following decades of decline now expansion plans at one of its mills have been given the thumbs-up.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 11:59 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 8:08 am
Stuart Marshall at Lovat Mill in Hawick.

Lovat Mill, in Commercial Road, has built up a reputation since it was established in 1975 for producing high-quality tweeds and fabrics, about half of them for export worldwide, and now looks set to carry on building on that.

Its owner, Hermitage Holdings, has secured approval from Scottish Borders Council planners to add a 62sq m extension to its Commercial Road factory, last extended in 2015, to house a new loom to help it cope with demand for its wares.

Although that move will add only one job to its existing workforce of 26, the extension will help safeguard the company’s long-term future and increase its reach in the global knitwear market, it believes.

A spokesperson for Berwick-based architecture firm Hodgson and White, acting as agent for the mill’s owner, said: “The mill is an example of a successful local business which caters for the global market and is aiming to retain its presence and workforce within Hawick.

“They are actively looking to further expand their successful business whilst retaining the mill in the heart of Hawick.

“The extension is relatively small in scale, but it will provide floorspace that can be occupied with modern production machinery helping future-proof the business.”

Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall has welcomed the new development, hailing it, allied with plans for a new McDonald’s drive through restaurant and relocated B&M Bargains store nearby, as another milestone in the ongoing revival of Commercial Road’s economic fortunes.

The former textile worker said: “I’m delighted that the green light has been given by the planning department for the approval of these plans, and by doing so, it will allow this fantastic company in our town to now plan even further ahead.

“This is a business of which we are very proud to have in our town and which manufactures very high quality cloth for some very exclusive clients.

“It’s great to see another planing application being approved along Commercial Road, and this news certainly instils great confidence that our manufacturing industry within our town is doing exceptionally well at the moment.”

Other recent signs of things looking up for Hawick’s textile industry include Scott and Charters having its new Fairhurst Drive factory officially opened by the Prince of Wales in November, the launch of a new £610,000 textile training centre at Hawick High School last May and plans going in, also last year, for a new research centre at Johnstons of Elgin’s Mansfield Road plant.