New lease of life in store for former Hawick cashmere mill

The old N Peal mill in Victoria Road in Hawick.The old N Peal mill in Victoria Road in Hawick.
The old N Peal mill in Victoria Road in Hawick.
A new lease of life looks to be in store for a former cashmere mill disused for over a decade.

Proposals to split up the old N Peal knitwear factory in Hawick’s Victoria Road into smaller offices for let have been approved by Scottish Borders Council planners subject to various conditions.

Those plans have been drawn up by developer John Poletti, of Newstead, near Melrose.

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As the building was formerly used as an office block by textile firm Turnbull’s, no consent for change of use is being sought, only for internal alterations, including reconfiguration of the 108-year-old building’s layout, and replacement of windows.

“The intended alterations are for the property to be divided up into small self-contained offices to be let out,” said Stuart Aitchison, acting as agent for Mr Poletti.

The plans have been given the thumbs-up by Mark Douglas, the council’s lead officer for built heritage and design, and approved, under delegated powers, by planning officer Stuart Herkes, subject to confirmation of further details.

Welcoming the proposals as a happy outcome for a historic building empty since 2006 and falling into ever-worse disrepair since then, Mr Douglas said in his consultation report: “I support the proposals as a positive way forward to secure a future for this building at risk.”

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Mr Herkes added: “Subject to appropriate conditions being imposed, the proposed internal alterations raise no concerns in terms of their impacts upon the historic character and appearance of the C-listed building.”

The two-storey office block was given listed status in 2007, a year after N Peal ceased operating there, and it was added to Scotland’s register of buildings at risk in 2011.

The closure of the N Peal cashmere factory, opened in 1990, led to almost 50 job losses.

The building was constructed in 1911 to a design by architect Alexander Inglis. Its tower is said to be the earliest example of the proto-modernist style seen in Hawick.