Hawick knitwear factory planning rejig of site

Johnstons of Elgin in Mansfield Road, Hawick.
Johnstons of Elgin in Mansfield Road, Hawick.

A Borders knitwear manufacturer with a history stretching back over two centuries has unveiled expansion plans.

Johnstons of Elgin gained planning approval last year to relocate the yarn store at its Mansfield Road site in Hawick.

That move, to a site alongside Mansfield Park, has freed up floorspace next to the production area at the woollen mill.

Now further plans have been submitted to Scottish Borders Council to create a research and design centre there.

The new complex would accommodate designers, programmers and line-writers within an open-office environment.

No neighbouring properties will be affected as the planned external alterations to the existing building would only be visible from the courtyard within.

A report by Galashiels-based Aitken Turnbull Architects says: “Natural light is an important element of the proposed design to create a workable and functional working environment.

“The research and design centre will benefit from sections of glazing across the entire south facing elevation.

“Parking and access will remain as existing, with the added benefit of all delivery vans being redirected to the new yarn store alongside Mansfield Park.

“Waste disposal and crime prevention will remain as existing, with boundary fencing, CCTV installation and an alarm system providing appropriate crime prevention.

“The company’s success and growth is resulting in the need for more space in the production process, and associated works.”

Founded in 1797 by Alexander Johnston, Johnstons of Elgin is the second oldest family business in Scotland.

The company has been based in Hawick since the 1980s and is one of the largest employers in the Borders, with nearly 1,000 staff at its mills in Hawick and Elgin in Moray.