“Once in a lifetime” vision for a Borders village

Today (Thursday), Scottish Borders Councillors will be presented with a report detailing a “once-in-a-lifetime” vision for Tweedbank.
Councillor Simon MountfordCouncillor Simon Mountford
Councillor Simon Mountford

The report includes plans for 400 new homes and a 60-bed care home, and lays out the key strategic objectives that will guide the development and contribute to the council’s goals of delivering thriving places, meeting net zero targets, growing the economy and tackling poverty and inequality.

The first section of modern and high-quality business space, situated at the Quarry West site nearest the railway terminus, has already been completed and now has its first occupants.

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CGI, the council’s IT provider, is situated on the first floor of the building and the SBC’s Inspire Learning team have taken up space on the ground floor with Inspire Learning: Tweedbank.

The report also outlines the immediate next steps for the project including the creation of a revised business case which will factor in the impact of the current economic climate and market conditions and will support any future funding bids for support towards business and housing infrastructure.

A procurement exercise will also be undertaken to identify and appoint a development partner for the project along with a separate technical team to develop a coherent, feasible and viable plan to deliver the vision of the project.

Work by SBC is also underway to forward invest in key infrastructure that will pave the way for the subsequent developments at the site.

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Construction work on some initial elements could start later this year with a planning application currently being considered for the phase one access road.

Design for the care village is also ongoing alongside the development of a procurement and delivery plan that seeks to achieve best value for the council’s investment.

A full business case will be presented to council later in 2023 and, following this, the project can move to the construction phase in 2024 with a possible opening in 2025.

Following feedback obtained at the engagement sessions last October, regarding potential uses for a Neighbourhood Centre, further detailed work will be carried out, focusing on potential uses for existing buildings and spaces.

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Councillor Simon Mountford, the council’s executive member for Estate Management and Planning, said: “The Tweedbank expansion project will be a transformational development for the local area and the Scottish Borders more widely.

“Considerable time and effort has been taken to ensure the council’s aspirations and desired outcomes for this project closely align to various national and regional strategies.

“The expansion of Tweedbank represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve the supply of quality housing in the Borders and to create a vibrant, sustainable community that will be the benchmark for future development in the region.”