And the firm behind the multi-million pound proposal, The Three Stills Company Ltd, of Glasgow, says its plans to redevelop the former Turnbull & Scott (Engineers) premises at 16-20 Commercial Road will “provide welcome employment” and “encourage more tourism”.
Three Stills announced in November that it had secured funding for the project, which will be known as The Borders Distillery, and it has now submitted a planning application to Scottish Borders Council (SBC) for the Hawick scheme.
The plans state there will be a reception, shop and café on the ground floor alongside two large industrial sheds which will house the distillery equipment, while the first floor will include exhibition and whisky-tasting areas.
Three Stills hopes to start work on the development later this year and plans to open for business in July 2017.
In its design statement, submitted to SBC earlier this month, the company says its whisky distillery proposal is a rare opportunity to restore and breathe new life into one of Hawick’s former industrial buildings ... and that too often no appropriate use can be found for these buildings and gradually they fall into disrepair, resulting ultimately in demolition.
It continued: “As well as saving the historic fabric of Hawick, the proposal will provide welcome employment directly and indirectly to the area.
“The facility will also provide another destination to encourage more tourism.
“The benefits this proposal will bring to the area are clear to see and approval would be of great benefit to Hawick.”
Although it may be the end of the decade before Hawick-distilled whisky is available for sale, due to a minimum three-year process, Three Stills director and project leader John Fordyce told us that the company will be buying, selling and trading whisky, including its own Clan Fraser blend in under two years.
It is proposed to use water from the River Teviot for the cooling process and water from a borehole for the whisky-making process. Tests have verified that the water is suitable, said the company. There are also plans to make gin at the Commercial Road site.
If approved, the distillery will be the first of its kind in the Borders since 1837.