Brewery’s £500k visitor centre to toast Borders’ best

John Henderson owner of the Cross Keys Inn, Ancrum.
John Henderson owner of the Cross Keys Inn, Ancrum.

THE Scottish Borders Brewery is building a new £500,000 visitor centre called ‘Born in the Borders’, creating up to 10 new jobs.

John Henderson, owner of the brewery and the Chesters Estate site, told us: “Born in the Borders will showcase the very best of Borders products, from cashmere to cheese and from beer to boutique accessories.

“Two retail shops and a restaurant/cafe will form the heart of this ambitious development, and building work is already well under way.

He explained: “This project is a natural extension of the brewery’s whole plough-to-pint ethos. People always asked if we’d ever build a brewery visitor centre, but we wanted to go one step further.

“There is so much to celebrate about everything that gets made here in the Borders, but no one single place where locals or tourists can go to discover it. In effect, we want to create a one-stop shop for everything that the region has to offer.”

The Teviot Valley centre is due to open to the public in May. The half million pound investment will see the conversion of an old farm steading and dairy buildings at Lanton Mill Farm, the home of the brewery, on the road between Jedburgh and Hawick.

The whole farm will be dedicated to the new project, and the centre will also feature riverside walks and picnic areas along the banks of the River Teviot. Jobs will be created in both retail and catering.

“We are very proud to be a Borders-based company,” Mr Henderson emphasised, “and we want people to share that same pride in the area’s landscape, natural resources, agriculture and producers, be they weavers, glass-makers, or cup-cake bakers. It’s really their stories that we want to tell.”