A new hotel, filling station, food store and coffee drive-thru could be on the way in Tweedband if plans for a £12m development there, submitted to Scottish Borders Council this week, are approved.
Edinburgh-based developer New Land Assets unveiled plans to bring national hotel operator Premier Inn to the proposed Borders Gateway site in Tweedbank.
That 71-bedroom hotel forms part of a £12m development which also includes a BP petrol filling station, a Costa drive-thru coffee shop and M&S food store.
The investment on the currently vacant site, set aside for business and employment use in the local development plan, will also create an estimated 100 job, including 30 at the hotel.
More than 250 residents attended a public consultation in March of which 91% welcomed the Borders Gateway proposals.
Duncan Hamilton, managing director of New Land Assets, said: ““We are delighted at how the plans have been received by the Tweedbank community and the positive feedback we have received since we announced our plans earlier this year.
“We have listened carefully to the feedback and made some changes to the plans which have been backed by a range of local businesses.
“Premier Inn is a national brand that is recognised across the country and it will be the first Premier Inn in the Borders. Through our consultation local people recognised the need for more hotel accommodation and I am sure they will be delighted that we have secured such a strong brand to operate the hotel.”
Premier Inn acquisition manager, Nick Johnston, said it was a “promising time for the Borders.”
“We’re excited at the prospect of being part of the economic growth of the area,” he said. “The Scottish Government’s blueprint for the Borders Railway aims to increase commercial and tourism development and bringing Premier Inn and its associated benefits to the area aligns with this vision.
“The strategic location of the Borders Gateway development and its mix of uses make it a great site for a new Premier Inn hotel.
“If approved, the new Premier Inn will operate year-round, helping to support the local economy and benefitting tourist attractions by enticing visitors to Tweedbank and the Scottish Borders across all four seasons.
“The new Premier Inn will create approximately 30 new year-round jobs with recruitment focused locally through Job Centre Plus and other employment service providers. We’ve seen a very positive reaction from the local community to the prospect of working for Whitbread and the benefits that brings, especially among young people.
“Our presence also has a positive knock-on effect on local businesses as many of our guests visit local attractions and eat and drink out when they stay with us.
“Bringing Premier Inn to the Borders can be the catalyst for encouraging more businesses to invest in the Borders and its exciting future.”
The plans will go before the council’s planning and building standards committee in the coming weeks and work could begin next year.
Nick Eccles, acquisition manager for Scotland at BP, said: “BP are looking forward to developing a new BP and M&S facility as part of the Border’s Gateway Development during the course of 2019”
Local businesses and tourist attractions have welcomed the news this week. Chief executive of Abbotsford House, Giles Ingram, said: “We are a major tourist attraction in the Borders and as we continue to grow we need accommodation nearby, the hotel will be great for us the surrounding area and allow us to continue to develop Abbotsford and the Borders as a major tourist destination.”
Born in the Borders owner John Henderson added: “These plans demonstrate a positive addition to the area and much needed new facilities. They also show that the Borders is really developing and attracting private investment which will be key to grow the region, it’s a positive step in the right direction.”