HUGE relief has been expressed that land on a Borders business park which has stood empty since it was developed several years ago is to receive a £1.2m economic boost.

“At last!” said Mid Berwickshire Conservative councillor John Greenwell to news of the investment at Coldstream Business Park.

There are currently no buildings on the proposed development land and the site is allocated for business use in the council’s Local Development Plan.

Now three workshop units are to be built with the aim of creating nine jobs.

Mr Grenwell, speaking at a meeting of Scottish Borders Council (SBC) on Thursday (August 31), said: “At last we’re going to see some activity within that business park. It has been empty since it was built.

“Looking forward I can’t see any reason why this could not be a vibrant business park. The local population has been crying out and have been asking myself and local members when was something was going to happen, why was it sitting there empty, why is it getting overgrown with grass and weeds?

“This is good news and I am looking forward to the next community council and saying, 'Yes, we’re nearly there'.”

Fellow Mid Berwickshire Conservative councillor Mark Rowley said: “We absolutely know there is demand there. I won’t mention names but we know there was a significant employer who left the region because they could not find business-ready accommodation of the right scale and the right specification and my inbox has not been quiet over the last couple of years with people looking for business accommodation in Berwickshire. I really welcome this.”

Mid Berwickshire councillor Donald Moffat, who represents the SNP,  added: “This is long overdue. The last time we had any investment in business premises in Coldstream was back in the 1990s when we had Berwickshire District Council, along with Scottish Borders Regional Council, do a joint project and we got the workshops that were developed then, which have been at full capacity ever since.

“A number of local businesses have tried to get on that site and have not been able to do so for one reason or another, and I do think this is welcome and something we need in Coldstream to keep people in jobs.”

Funding for the project is to come through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, an agreement between the Scottish and UK governments, and the five Borderlands local authorities – Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council and SBC.

A follow-on project under the programme will see the servicing of land at Burnfoot in Hawick in 2025-26.

In a report to full council, Jenni Craig, SBC’s director of resilient communities, says: “A full business case for the Business Infrastructure Programme (Scotland) for Coldstream is in the process of being approved by the Scottish Government, and will be submitted to the Borderlands Partnership Board for approval at its meeting on September 13.

“Among the criteria used in selecting the programme’s sites were areas identified as lacking a supply of good, quality modern industrial premises. The Berwickshire area, which includes Coldstream, and the town of Hawick met this criterion.

“One of the objectives of the Business Infrastructure Programme (Scotland) is that building out sites will ensure a provision of more modern, environmentally friendly buildings that will help to assist the quest for a low carbon, more sustainable economy.”