A business incubator centre in Hawick will help businesses in the Scottish Borders establish themselves thanks to a £3.6 million funding package.
The Scottish Government said it is working with Scottish Borders Council, local businesses and community groups to further develop the local economy, building upon the Hawick Action Plan.
The support is part of a £10 million local economic development capital grant fund which is also supporting businesses in North Ayrshire, Clackmannanshire and Fife.
The Hawick funding will also develop four industrial units on the edge of the town, upgrade existing business facilities in Hawick’s Tower Mill, and secure commitment from Scottish Borders Council to fund and undertake feasibility studies for regeneration of two further redundant mill buildings to inform potential investors.
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “Supporting economic growth in the South of Scotland is a priority for this government, creating and protecting jobs and enabling local businesses to flourish.
“The business incubator in the former Armstrong’s building will give new and rapidly-developing companies the opportunity to come together and grow.
“The new and upgraded business infrastructure in and around Hawick will encourage entrepreneurs, generate start-ups and ensure that the region can meet all the business needs that expanding companies may have.
“This will boost the economy in the South of Scotland, creating up to 55 jobs, and will let local businesses build upon the reputation for innovation and hard work for which they are renowned.”
Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development, said: “These projects will not only provide new job opportunities in Hawick but will hopefully act as a catalyst for further property redevelopment and inward investment in the town in the future.
“Redeveloping the former Armstrong’s building will deliver new, small office units suitable for start-up firms and existing businesses in the town centre and will also bring life back to a building which has been empty and derelict for many years.”