New lease of life looms for old Hawick knitwear factory

Councillor Davie Paterson outside the old Peter Scott knitwear factory in Hawick.
Councillor Davie Paterson outside the old Peter Scott knitwear factory in Hawick.

A former knitwear factory in Hawick is set to get a new lease of life as an apartment complex for older people.

The Peter Scott site in Buccleuch Street closed its doors for the final time in August 2016 after operating in the town for close on 150 years.

The building has stood empty since then and has become a target for vandals.

A planning application has now been submitted by Galashiels-based Aitken Turnbull Architects, on behalf of Pesco Developments, the West Yorkshire company that bought the factory site in July last year.

The bid is to convert and demolish parts of the former production area and yarn store for the development of 10 two-bedroom apartments for people over the age of 55.

It has also emerged that there has already been interest from ex-staff at the factory about moving into the flats.

The developer has pledged to retain the distinctive chimney at the heart of the site.

A spokesman for Aitken Turnbull Architects said: “Market research has indicated a strong demand for well-appointed, conveniently located apartments for residents aged over 55.

“Early interest has already been expressed by people who once worked at the factory.

“The retention of features such as the chimney help maintain the sense of place and local identity.”

Former Peter Scott employee Davie Paterson has welcomed the development.

The Hawick and Hermitage councillor said: “It brings yet another disused mill back into use. I’m glad also that it’s private money being invested into the town. That was the reason that I was jumping up and down because of some minor vandalism to this building that had just been purchased.

“The building is in such a prominent position that anyone coming into our town from the A7 sees it. I would hate to see it lying derelict, so I’m absolutely delighted that some private company is investing in the town.

“I spent 10 of the happiest working years of my life in that mill, so, on a personal level, I’m delighted as well.”