A TEXTILE business is looking to breathe new life into a derelict Galashiels office.

Sonia Ambrosano and Lachlan Munro, textile and knitwear designers, launched Studio Roam in 2007.

In that time, the business has developed a niche market manufacturing cashmere knitted blankets.

Now a bid has been made to move into the former premises of Border Textile and Engineering Supplies Company, which is category C-listed, on Ladhope Vale.

It will allow the business to consolidate the design, manufacture, and shipping of its products under one roof.

Mr Munro attended a meeting of Galashiels Community Council last week and addressed concerns over deliveries and noise.

“The maximum you’re taking is five boxes at a time,” he said, adding that they would be delivered in a small van. “We’re well aware of this delivery aspect but even if they were parking round the corner it would take five minutes.

“We feel it’s something we can manage without causing too much disruption.”

Community councillor Flora Collingwood Norris said: “I think it would be great to have them in town. It’s exactly the type of business we want to have in Galashiels.

“It’s not loud machinery. They are a micro manufacturer rather than a major one.”

Mr Munro said that the business was initially based in Huddersfield Road but the machines were moved to Hawick where they have been for more than a decade.

On the Ladhope Vale bid, he said: “There’s an opportunity to combine the manufacturing work with the retail space and design space on the three floors.”

In a tongue in cheek comment, community councillor Jim Johnston said: “I certainly can’t criticise anyone having the ambition of moving from Hawick to Galashiels.”

Community councillor Rick Kenney said he was “completely open-minded” to it.

But he added that the council had told him there was “encouragement for small manufacturing businesses to locate in small industrial estates, rather than town centres”.

A planning statement submitted to the council says: “The proposal provides an opportunity to bring back a vacant building back into life whilst also maintaining the character of the listed building.

“The building has been vacant for some time and the applicant will be investing significantly to upgrade the building and bring it into modern day standards.

“It is located within a town centre location where the proposed commercial uses are supported. It again seeks to promote sustainable building techniques and support renewable energy technologies in order to reduce the business carbon footprint.

“Significant economic benefits again will prevail through the regeneration process but also by bringing a new business into the centre of Galashiels and with it bringing new and local jobs.”

The town boasts a proud textile history which was recently celebrated with a giant, colourful mural at the Tesco car park.