Securing the future for British Wool in the Scottish Borders
The British Wool team will be relocating to Selkirk from their current wool grading base in nearby Galashiels. The set up in Galashiels was split over two sites with warehousing and grading in two premises. The poor layout and condition of the buildings also presented significant operational challenges which hampered efficiency. The new British Wool Borders site will locate all operations onto one site, offers improved access, and allow for further efficiency gains. The building has already been fitted with solar panels to minimize energy costs saving £30k per year.
The British Wool Borders depot is set to commence grading operations in the next couple of weeks and represents a major investment for British Wool. The move underscores British Wool’s long-term commitment to its members in Scotland and Northern England and will offer an improved service, whilst also delivering further operational efficiencies.
Taking wool from Northumberland to Aberdeenshire and across the mainland to the Western Isles, the new Borders depot will be British Wool’s biggest grading depot in the UK and will have the space to host farmer group visits and space to showcase the best of Scottish wool products.
Having five grading tables and three packers will enable the team to handle a maximum of six million kgs of wool a year including the sorting line for mixing and packing of Harris Tweed. Wool deliveries start in July, and we are looking forward to the official opening by Cammy Wilson of The Sheep Game on 2nd August.
Financially, we can relocate and refit the new Borders site without any cost to our members with the recent sale and subsequent re-letting of the Irvine site, the sale of the Galashiels depot along with a £250k grant from South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) to support the project in creating local jobs.
Billy Hewitson, Head of Depot Operations said: “For too many years Galashiels has been costing the business time and money with repairs and operating inefficiencies. The cost of repairs in the next few years would have been astronomical. The new site will be far more eco-friendly, have much lower running costs, offer a more improved service, and give us flexibility and the capacity to take on more wool.”
Jim Robertson, Board Member for Southern Scotland and British Wool Chairman commented: “The relocation of our operations in the Scottish Borders is long overdue. I’m delighted with the progress that has been made to date and look forward to welcoming our members to the new site.”
Lisa Hislop, Livestock Policy Advisor, NFU Scotland who recently visited the site told us: “It was great to visit the British Wool team and see the investment they are making in infrastructure in Scotland.”Back to Blogs