A £29m business park which was expected to create 380 well-paid jobs risks being blown off course by the changing economic climate, it has emerged.

The initial phase of the Central Borders Innovation Park, promoted by Scottish Borders Council close to Tweedbank railway station, has involved construction of offices for CGI, the local authority’s IT providers, and for the Inspire Academy, another council-funded venture.

According to the original business plan, approved by councillors four years ago, the various phases of the scheme – which aimed to bolster the local economy to the tune of £350m – were set to deliver 11,469 square metres of office space coupled with 3,350 square metres of industrial units.

It meant more than 77 per cent of the new buildings would be occupied by offices.

But post-COVID there has been a dramatic slump in demand for office space.

And at a meeting of SBC’s executive committee on Tuesday, members were informed by economic development officer Stuart Kinross that a full new business case now needs to be drafted to take into account that changing landscape.

Mr Kinross wrote: “The Borders Innovation Park at Tweedbank is a £29m capital programme, which includes a contribution of £15m from the City Region Deal, £5m from Scottish Borders Council, and £9m from other partners.

“A full business case was approved by council in January 2019 prior to being approved by the City Region Deal Joint Committee in March 2019. This business case envisaged a build-out of office and industrial space over three phases. The first building on the site, which is an office for the council’s IT provider, CGI, and an Inspire learning hub opened in 2022.

“However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the anticipated demand for office space has been greatly reduced and there is therefore a need to re-configure the proposed programme.

“This will require the drafting of a revised full business case, which is currently expected to be presented to council in November 2023 prior to being considered for approval by the Joint Committee in December 2023.”