New cashmere centre spins jobs benefit for Hawick

Johnston of Elgin showroom opening Hawick
Johnston of Elgin showroom opening Hawick

Twenty new jobs have been created by Johnstons of Elgin opening its new, state-of-the-art cashmere visitor centre at the Eastfield Mills site in Hawick, writes Mark Entwistle.

Friday’s opening ceremony was performed by the Duchess of Northumberland, with 250 guests from all over the UK, including some of Johnstons of Elgin’s cashmere raw material suppliers from China.

Commenting on the £1million investment, director James Sugden said: “This is a further step on the way to cementing our position as Scotland’s leading manufacturer of cashmere products, both woven and knitted.

“As well as creating an additional 20 jobs, the retail shop, café and interpretation centre will help protect the existing manufacturing jobs in Hawick where we already employ 250 people.”

Mr Sugden went on: “All the building work has been carried out by local trades, providing vital work at a difficult time for the construction industry. A lot of the work has involved renovating the 1882 frontage to the mill, and this has taxed all the skills available in Hawick to reach the high standards associated not just with our products, but also our marketing and presentation.

“Over the years Hawick as a town has had a bad press, but it is our aim with this investment to help to put the town back on the map as a destination place to shop.”

Johnstons employ 750 people between its Elgin and Hawick plants, and last year turned over in excess of £50million.