Hotel hopes rise as sale deal is done

Missives have been exchanged for the sale of the former Burgh Yard in central Galashiels – with hopes high that a 50-bed hotel will be built.

Although no cash has been exchanged, a contract has been signed between Scottish Borders Council, which owns the one-hectare site, and Ramoyle Developments Ltd of Stirling.

The council said: “The sale has been agreed…and is subject to surveys and planning permission being achieved for a mixed use commercial scheme which would include flatted residential properties.

“Ramoyle is also in talks with various commercial users including a national family pub restaurant operator as well as a hotel chain over a potential new 50-bed hotel.”

Such uses are compatible with a planning brief for the land which was approved by SBC in 2011 after the site – bound by Huddersfield Street, Hill Street and Braw Lads Brae – was cleared as part of the Galashiels Inner Relief Road Scheme.

Jim Turnbull, managing director of Ramoyle said: “Several operators have approached us with regards to the various commercial uses we have in mind for Galashiels and we expect to be able to reveal our preferred line-up soon.”

Councillor Stuart Bell, SBC’s executive member for economic development, said: “The development of the former Burgh Yard, just 650 metres from the newly opened transport interchange and new Galashiels railway station, will bring an empty site back into commercial use.

“If the scheme comes to fruition, it will bring investment, create new jobs and provide improved facilities for tourists, tying into the key aims of the Borders Railway Blueprint programme.”

There has been speculation that two national hotel chains – Premier Inns and Travelodge – have already expressed an interest in coming to Galashiels where a shortage of lettable rooms is considered an impediment to tourism and the success of the railway.