EXPANSION at a long-established Melrose sawmill is on Scottish Borders Council’s planning agenda.

An application has been lodged for a new shed to the house saw-milling equipment at Lilliesleaf Sawmill.

The objective is to upgrade the existing workspace to create an additional shelter to house equipment and store materials, and allow future expansion of the current business.

Caledonia Log Homes and Caledonia Timber are established businesses on the site and both provide essential local employment.

Lilliesleaf Sawmill has been a sawmill for generations. Once a James Jones flagship mill, it has lacked investment and upgrades since the 1980s. The current machinery and buildings are all dated and no longer viable for a progressive, sustainable business.

A report with the application states: “To continue operation, improve safety and production and ensure business longevity, investment is required in new work sheds.

“Currently, half of our employees are from Lilliesleaf and Midlem. The rest of the employees commute from the larger towns nearby, Hawick and Galashiels.

“The proposal is to erect a purpose-built shed to house saw-milling equipment. The proposed building will help improve site access and use and enhance the site visually.

“As part of a longer-term improvement strategy plan, the new shed will allow us to continue employing in the rural sector, increase productivity, and expand our businesses. The latest work shed is required to boost our productivity, continue to develop the site and increase employment.

“The proposed enhancements are an excellent employment-generating opportunity and will help retain local employees.

“The core business is building hand-crafted log homes and milling timber. All of our logs are procured in the Scottish Borders, and the majority is sold to clients in England, meaning we are bringing money into the local economy.”

The proposed shed development “will improve, enhance and future-proof the existing business”.

The report adds: “The new purpose-built facility will modernise the milling process and generate more jobs in the countryside.

“The development is in keeping with the established mill business, which has been on the site for over 75 years."