SCOTTISH Borders Council’s protracted attempts to sell an historic old textile mill in Galashiels appear to be approaching a successful conclusion.

Buckholm Mill, which ceased tweed production in the 1970s, was placed on the market by the council in 2011 with a guide price of £175,000.

Six years on and the asking price for the two-storey Victorian building off Wheatlands Road, has slumped to “offers over £90,000”.

And selling agent Edwin Thomson has placed a deadline of noon tomorrow (Thursday) for offers to be submitted.

“There are currently three notes of interest in the property,” revealed a council spokesperson yesterday.

Built by Henry Sanderson in the mid 19th century, Buckholm Mill was the first mill in Galashiels to be illuminated by electricity with works completed by the famous Edison & Co of New York in 1884.

After the mill closed, it was converted into offices and was latterly occupied by ProStrakan Pharmaceuticals before being offered for sale.

The building, which has a rateable value of £38,500, comprises a general office, meeting room, board room, nine office and kitchen/staff room on the ground floor and 12 offices, a meeting hall and a store room on the second.

“The property is considered to offer scope for retention of office-based uses, sub-division to smaller suites or potential residential redevelopment subject to obtaining all the necessary consents,” states the agent.

In October last year, an offer to purchase the mill was received from a local businessman who planned to run a youth arts activity centre and circus at the site.

But the following month the sale was paused by the council which cited “technical, access and land ownership issues” relating to plans – since aborted - by the Gala Water and Mill Lades Society to produce hydro electricity at nearby Reyheugh.

It was a delay which infuriated the would-be buyers who used Freedom of Information legislation to demand that the council identify the names of all the hydro project team members, including councillors, involved in the decision to intervene in the sale.

The council said such information was “personal data” and thus exempt from disclosure and, in February this year, it claimed the problematic issues had been resolved and the sale would go ahead.

However, the council spokesperson confirmed: “Buckholm Mill was put back on the market after the prospective purchasers withdrew their offer.”