Mill visitor centre in Selkirk is to move 'in-house' it is revealed
The world’s leading manufacturer of tartan based in the Borders has announced it is relocating part of its business.
Lochcarron of Scotland’s Visitor Centre in Dunsdale Road in Selkirk, incorporating a shop and cafe, is to close at the end of the year and is to be relocated within the Waverley Mill on Rogers Road, with the expectation it will be up and running there by spring 2022.
The move is partly a result of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on Scotland’s tourism industry.
But management has also labelled it an “exciting opportunity” to integrate the centre with the mill to “enhance the visitor experience”.
The mill and visitor centre are key tourist attractions in Selkirk, but during lockdown they operated with reduced staff as orders and visitors slumped.
Last August the company announced 14 job losses at its Waverley Mill site across all departments, with the intention of securing the company’s long-term future.
Managing director Dawn Robson-Bell said: “Lochcarron of Scotland has an exciting opportunity to relocate our Selkirk Visitor Centre from its current location on Dunsdale Road to within the main mill complex of Waverley Mill on Rogers Road.
"The move is partly motivated by the impact that Covid has had on the tourism market in Scotland and which will continue to be felt possibly throughout 2021. However, it is also an opportunity to fully integrate the retail store within the mill and enhance the visitor experience.
"For the moment we are open on Dunsdale Road on an appointment-only basis for made-to-measure private shopping experiences and we may choose to open more fully should visitor numbers improve.
"The actual relocation will take place towards the end of this year to relaunch for spring 2022, with updates available on social media and on our website.”
Lochcarron of Scotland dates back to 1892 and still relies on skilled craftsmen and women to design, dye, warp, weave, mend and tailor its Scottish tartans and textiles.
A global brand its products are in demand from major international fashion houses for their catwalk collections, in addition to individuals seeking quality garments for weddings and other special occasions.