Brewery set to tap into expansion in Galashiels

Monday September 11th 2023

Tempest Brewery_'s current site at Tweedbank does not allow for expansion

Tempest Brewery's current site At Tweedbank does not allow for expansion.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Paul Kelly

An award-winning brewery is set to tap into expansion in Galashiels and create six new jobs.

Tempest Brewing Co. Ltd currently operates from three separate units on the Tweedbank Industrial Estate.

But the existing sites prohibit expansion and the company has now been granted approval from Scottish Borders Council for permission for a partial change of use of an existing industrial building – Unit 8A, Tweedside Park – for mixed use with a brewery, a licensed taproom and kitchen and associated external beer garden seating, with a small on-site brewery shop.

Permission has also been given for the erection of a 2m high perimeter fence along the north elevation, the building of an external plant room and the relocation and erection of a grain silo and brewing vessels.

The expansion will result in the creation of six new full-time and part-time posts.

Tempest Brewing Co. Ltd is an independently owned and operated micro-brewery launched in 2010 at a small premises in Kelso. It outgrew the Kelso base by 2014 and moved to units at Tweedbank in early 2015.

In her report approving the application, SBC’s lead planning officer Julie Hayward said expansion would enable the company to enhance the “growing beer tourism sector”.

She said: “The application site is required to relocate and expand production and to develop the hospitality side of the business by providing an improved customer experience.

“The statement advises that no other site or business units of the appropriate height and size are available within Tweedbank and there was a preference to remain within the industrial estate. The intention was to build a purpose-built brewery on the former Eildon Mill site but the project did not go ahead. Unit 8A has now become available to lease.

“The aim is to create a visitor experience and become part of the growing beer tourism sector, encouraging visitors to the Borders. It is estimated that two full-time jobs and four part-time jobs would be created by the addition of a fully functioning taproom bar and by enhancing the retail shop.

“The beer garden has the potential to result in noise nuisance. However, this would be a small area in front of the building some distance from any housing and located away from adjacent units within Tweedbank. It is considered that this element of the proposal is unlikely to cause significant noise nuisance.”

A report submitted by Tempest Brewing Co. Ltd with the application says: “The challenges we face as a business over the next 10 years are maintaining a competitive edge in a saturated market, de-carbonizing our business, and diversifying our product range into fermented alcohol-free products which we cannot do from our current site. At our current premises, we do not have any space left to expand.

“We require more space for improvements in our production and processing equipment, e.g., investment in packaging and warehousing automation, such as box packing and keg filling.

“We would also like to develop the hospitality side of our business to provide an improved customer experience of visiting our brewery; to make it a destination experience at the end of the Tweedbank Railway Line.

“This idea underpins the development of our business and the value of our brand. We cannot grow the hospitality side of our business from the current site due to planning restrictions, location, and space constraints.

“We have been trying to relocate our business in its entirety to more appropriate premises since 2018, with the original intention of building a new purpose-built brewery on the former Eildon Mill site. However, for various reasons, that project did not go ahead. Unfortunately, due to the changes that have taken place in the economy since 2019, achieving our ultimate goal of having a new purpose-built factory is impossible, therefore we have had to look at alternative options.

“Our preference has always been to stay in the immediate vicinity of Tweedbank as we are firmly established as a Tweedbank brewery. In Unit 8A Tweedside Park, we have identified suitable alternative premises that can offer us the potential to further develop and grow our business whilst remaining in the Tweedbank vicinity.”

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