New Investment in the Borders

14th February 2018

A plan that could bring new homes, amenities, business premises and employment to enhance the rural economy and the town of Newton St Boswells has been announced by the H&H Group, owners of St Boswells Auction Mart. The development will be on land owned by the mart, which is adjacent to the current mart site.  H&H has lodged a Proposal of Application notice (PAN) with Borders Council announcing its intention to take forward a planning application for its development of the St Boswells Auction Mart and surrounding site at Newtown St Boswells.

H&H Group acquired the auction and site as part of its acquisition of the John Swan & Son business in 2015. Located on both sides of the A68 the total area of land owned by the company in Newtown St Boswells is approximately 60 acres, with the mart itself occupying 10 acres.  The proposal means the Mart, which stays on its existing location, will have new offices and offer improved and enhanced facilities. The intention is to invest money updating the site, which is vital to the farming economy of the Scottish Borders, in order to take it forward as an integrated rural community hub for future generations.

Brian Richardson, Chief Executive of H&H commented:

“Since acquiring the business three years ago we have been looking at how we can significantly improve the auction mart facilities, in conjunction with developing the surrounding land we own. The mart is both a very important Borders livestock trading centre and a catalyst for Scottish agriculture. Our aim in planning for the future of the site, is to add opportunity and maximise potential in the local economy. This we have achieved successfully at our other livestock market sites with associated rural based businesses being adjacent to the mart.

We were very clear when we acquired the business about our ongoing and future commitment to farmers in the Borders and the mart in Newtown St Boswells, and this is exactly what we are demonstrating. In addition to upgrading and enhancing the mart facilities, we are looking at a wider development of the adjacent land. This will include integrating farm and rural-related activities, education, and industry alongside some housing and retail. By bringing in new businesses and other initiatives to the Borders we are very much looking to enhance Newtown St Boswells, as well as providing jobs in the area.

We have already been in talks with many different organisations about moving to the site, and will be presenting our plans over the coming months as we progress with the planning application. Access and movement is important, and the proposal will include a new roundabout on the A68, opening additional accessibility into the village.

I would like to stress that this is a long-term project and we want to get it right. This will be achieved through extensive consultation, ensuring a good mix of development and enhancing the livestock mart which is so important to the prosperity of the farming industry in the area.”

The pre-application notice is the first stage in the planning process, which H&H expects will take at least 12 months – with the eventual development of the area staged over several years. To ensure that no opportunity is missed H&H will be consulting with local stakeholders about the proposal which aims to bring many jobs to the area and significant growth to the economy of the Borders and Newtown St Boswells.