PLANS to demolish a farmer-run organisation’s Galashiels base in favour of a move to Selkirk have been filed with the council.

The British Wool bid – published on the local authority’s planning portal last week – involves a move to the former RP Adam cleaning products factory in Riverside Road, which would be extended.

The seven-mile switch was announced by the organisation, which has 35,000 sheep farmer members, back in June.

The move will allow the “key employer” to remain in the Borders, according to a report submitted on behalf of British Wool by Ferguson Planning.

It stated: “The proposal seeks to demolish the existing office building to enable the erection of a new storage warehouse to accommodate the additional space required for British Wool to be able to occupy this vacant property.

“British Wool seeks to relocate their existing operations from Galashiels which they have now outgrown and is no longer fit for purpose, to Selkirk and the site in question.

“The proposed extension would enable this key employer to remain within the Scottish Borders and retain their existing workforce.

“British Wool currently employs between 18 and 25 members of staff on a seasonal basis. It is proposed the new premises will enable the creation of a further six jobs with the additional space to increase capacity with an extra grading line and packing machine.”

At the current site in Galashiels, the storage warehouse is located on a separate site to the main factory and requires around 20 trips per day between the two on public roads.

The proposed development would enable wool to be stored onsite, eliminating the trips between the factory and the storage warehouse, according to the report.

Announcing the intention to move back in June, Jim Robertson, farmer director and British Wool chairman, said: “Since our restructure in 2021, our Galashiels depot has been handling an increased volume of wool from southern Scotland and parts of Northumberland.

“The existing premises have served our members well, but the time is right to modernise our operation and invest in the future of wool grading in the Scottish Borders.

“As a farmer marketing organisation, everything we do is about adding value to British wool to maximise returns to our farmer members.

“The proceeds from the sale of our premises in Galashiels, along with those of the sale of the Irvine site, will be reinvested to help us continue to drive operating efficiency.”