Discount retailer Home Bargains has been given the green light to open a store in Hawick, creating around 50 jobs.
The national chain is all set to take over the former Homebase store in Galalaw after Scottish Borders Council approved an application to allow up to 30% of the shop floor to be allocated for food sales.
Home Bargains’ owner TJ Morris can now press ahead with plans for a multimillion pound refit of the 22,000 sq ft unit, which it revealed last year.
And although the firm is yet to formally announce a timescale, it is thought the new store will open in the spring.
Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall, who has been in regular contact with the firm since it expressed an interest in the site, said: “I am absolutely delighted that this major retailer has now been given the green light to press ahead and open a store at the former Homebase site at Galalaw.
“I am led to believe that between 40 and 50 jobs are to be created, and all being well, I’m told that the store hopes to open for business in early spring.”
Mr Marshall said he was delighted to see a business keen to move into the unit after Homebase pulled out of the premises in November, quitting Hawick after 13 years in the town.
“Not only am I thrilled at the prospect of Home Bargains coming to town, I am also pleased that some good news has came out of the recent closure of Homebase, and I sincerely hope that those former employees who are still looking for work will now be considered by this new business,” Mr marshall said.
“The thought of this huge site at Galalaw being left dormant and falling into disrepair was just unthinkable. We have far too many redundant factories and shops dotted over the town.”
Home Bargains has around 400 stores in the UK, and employs over 17,000 people. Its plans for Hawick are part of a nationwide expansion drive, with the firm planning to double the number of shops in the coming years.
Applying to vary a planning condition to allow for food sales at the site, a report by Glasgow planning firm Iceni Projects on behalf of TJ Morris, said: “The attraction of well-known brand Home Bargains to Hawick will contribute to promoting Hawick and the wider area as an area for investment.
“The proposed development would improve choice for consumers, whilst complementing the existing offer within the town centre.”