EXCITEMENT is building as a multi-million pound business centre prepares to open in the Borders.

The Hawick hub is set to offer companies and the wider community in the region a “modern space” to “reach their potential”.

A drop-in event will take place on Thursday, April 18, before the official opening the following day.

The project has been led by Scottish Borders Council (SBC), with South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) now set to deliver a 12-month ‘business accelerator programme’ from the centre to develop entrepreneurs.

Jedburgh councillor Scott Hamilton, SBC’s executive member for community and business development, said: “The plans for the centre were developed on the back of the Hawick Action Plan and this project has regenerated a site in the heart of the town. 

“With a modern business facility now ready to open, I am excited by what will now be achieved through this project and our partnership with South of Scotland Enterprise over the next 12 months and the positive impacts this facility will have on our local economy over many years.”

The Scottish Government provided £2.6million for the build of the centre, with the UK Shared Prosperity Fund providing £123,000 and SOSE £175,000 to help furnish and fit out the building.

Facilities in the hub include drop-in working spaces, small bookable meeting rooms and a digital lab to provide users with advanced facilities such as podcast recording studio, live streaming and virtual reality headsets.

SOSE alongside Business Gateway Scottish Borders will also host regular enterprise sessions. They will include business administration, book-keeping and finance, sustainability, and advanced application of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence.

An official opening of the centre is expected to take place in the coming months. 

Professor Russel Griggs, chair of SOSE, said: “Over the next 12 months, SOSE will be providing a series of programmes and workshops to support businesses and enterprises across the Scottish Borders to reach their potential, with a range of modern facilities on offer for the wider community as well.

“These include our digital lab which will have virtual reality headsets, podcast and live streaming studios, as well as enterprise sessions focussed on a variety of topics including artificial intelligence.

“Our five-year plan focuses on six As, two of which are advancing innovation and awakening entrepreneurial talent - we believe the services we will offer in Hawick Business Centre over the next 12 months will do just that for the Scottish Borders.”