A BORDERS pub has been taken off the market – and the new owners are searching for local businesses to turn the space into their own.
Fiona and Mark Cameron, property investors from Edinburgh, recently bought the Harrow Inn on High Street, Galashiels, and hope the proximity of their purchase to the newly opened Great Tapestry of Scotland will entice business owners in the town to make the most of the site.
“We like the Borders because it’s an area we enjoy spending time in ourselves, and Mark had his family holidays here when he was a boy,” said Fiona. “As investors we were drawn here because there’s a really strong future in the Borders and we believe its economy is thriving and growing and we can see there’s a lot of investment in Galashiels, in particular for a growing tourist trade.
“And the opening of the new museum [Tapestry] has been a big factor in taking us into the town.
“Certainly we want to capitalise on the fact that the [tapestry] building is there and it’s going to attract new people into the town.
“And we hope that will make it [the Harrow] an attractive feature for any tenant trying to establish a business there.”
The Harrow Inn is currently planned to accommodate a hospitality business on the ground floor and basement, with the top two floors used as a residential space.
Fiona explained that the couple want to rent out the upstairs accommodation as well as opening up the bottom two floors as a business.
“We’re going to keep the residential part and we’re going to operate that and let it out,” she said. “The commercial part we’re going to lease out to a tenant. So we’re on the hunt for the right tenant for that space. We know it’s been a popular, well-used bar in the past but we don’t think that’s right for the space now because we want our visitors on the upper floors to be comfortable there.We would rather see it under alternative use, so we hope we might find a tenant that wants to operate a restaurant or café.”
Looking to the future, the couple could also see the Harrow Inn becoming a collaborative space for a number of businesses sharing the property.
“It’s a really flexible space so it could be broken into different units,” said Fiona. “There are parts of it that could be suitable for a nail bar or hairdresser or therapy space – and we think it could even be a retail space.”
Mark added: “There’s lots of potential there. It’s just about finding a tenant that matches with our vision for it too.”
The couple also want to maintain some of the original features of the C-listed property.
Fiona said: “The most important thing to us is to make the most of the original features because it’s a beautiful building, outside and inside.
“The listing specifically references the bar interior, which is a typical example of late 19th century bar. We’d like to see that stay and for it to become a real feature of the bar and make the most of its assets.”
For more information, visit the Let’s Go Property Facebook page.