Hopes of a rise in Innerleithen's fortunes not pie in the sky as new bakery given green light

Hopes have risen that a Borders high street is to enjoy a much-needed boost after go-ahead was given for a new artisan pie bakery.

By Paul Kelly
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 2:13 pm
Rear view of bakery. (Image: SBC)
Rear view of bakery. (Image: SBC)

An application was submitted to Scottish Borders Council from Gareth Easton for the development of vacant premises at 47 High Street in Innerleithen into a bakery and takeaway.

The bakery is to produce a selection of meat, vegetarian and vegan pies available for takeaway.

Mr Easton argued that the outlet would prove an asset to the town by bringing a vacant retail outlet to life, providing a quality takeaway business and generating footfall.

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He added: "The proposed development offers a service not currently available in Innerleithen and would encourage daytime visitors to the town."

In his report recommending planning approval, Carlos Clarke, the council's lead planning officer agreed with his assessment.

He said: "This proposal will continue the vitality and viability of the town centre and, though next to an existing takeaway, there is no concern over a saturation of uses that would harm the character and mixed use nature of the town centre."

The premises has stood empty for almost two decades except for a short period in 2021/22 when Nina's Tea 4 You outlet occupied the site.

The application drew supportive comments, including one observation from Graham Riddell, of Tweed View, Innerleithen, who said: "Innerleithen High Street benefits from a growing range of small shops and retailers and this addition will add more choice for passing trade from the general public, tourists, event goers and local businesses in the region who may choose to stock these products."

Stewart Wilson, of 35 High Street, Innerleithen added: "I am fully supportive of the business venture to bring more footfall and catering options to Innerleithen High Street, that needs both. It is pleasing to see the hard work Mr Easton is putting into renovating a premises which has been neglected for many years. I wish him well."

The bakery is expected to employ three part-time staff.