Plans to convert former garage could create 25 jobs in Galashiels

Redburn Garage, also known as Bruce Motors, on the A72 Galashiels-to-Peebles road, has been closed for several years, but an application to convert the site for multiple purposes has now been submitted to Scottish Borders Council, raising hopes that it could be brought back into use.

The proposals put forward include the creation of a furniture workshop and showroom, caravan sales and repair unit, car-valeting operation and a catering unit, in addition to an accompanying garden and outdoor goods retail centre.

The applicant, Daniel Howard, a director of Kilnknowe Caravan Park in Wood Street, Galashiels, believes the bid, if approved, would bolster the town’s economy.

In his application, he says: “The property has been extensively advertised for sale for a long period, with no other garage, or car sales outlet, showing an interest in purchasing the site. “I request a change of use for this site as I believe that it is not viable for any other motor sales company to purchase this site for that purpose.

“Trends are changing, and car sales are now mostly done on the internet. “Given that at the point of purchase, the site offered no employment, and had little to offer in the form of rates, and taxes, towards the local community, I believe that, without my purchase of the site, it would have fallen into a state of disrepair very quickly, and some deterioration has already started.

“My change-of-use proposal will allow up to five individual businesses to set up, bringing with them the chance of up to 25 job vacancies, as well as contributing to Scottish Borders Council with business rates and the Scottish Government in the collection of taxes.” A decision on the application is expected within the next few months.