Scottish Borders Campus

Textile Faculty, Heriot-Watt University Galashiels Campus
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Textile Faculty, Heriot-Watt University Galashiels Campus

A complex of educational buildings located at Netherdale in Galashiels, a mile (1.5 km) southeast of the town centre, the Scottish Borders Campus is a joint venture between Borders College and Heriot-Watt University. For many years the site of the Scottish College of Textiles, the £31.4-million refurbished and revitalised campus was opened by HRH The Princess Royal on the 7th September 2009. The two organisations maintain their independence, but share facilities, such as a library, catering, student accommodation and reception.

The Netherdale Mill was built here in 1857 to spin wool and weave tweed, and the B-listed High Mill building (dated 1873) remains as part of the campus, occupied by the School of Textiles and Design of Heriot-Watt University. Although it can trace its roots back to classes in weaving, dyeing and chemistry instituted by the Galashiels Manufacturers Corporation in 1883, the Scottish Woollen Technical College was not founded until 1909. In 1965 it moved into the former mill buildings at Netherdale and, in 1968, was renamed the Scottish College of Textiles.

Over the years, the College extended its capabilities to include textile print, knitting and knitwear design, together with computerised production, computer-aided design, garment manufacture and fashion design. The College further diversified by developing courses in business, management and computing, and was physically extended through a substantial building programme between 1978 and 1982. Heriot-Watt University became responsible for validating the College's degree programmes from 1989, and a merger took place nine years later, with the College becoming the University's School of Textiles and Design. This School now has around 50 staff and over 500 students, with dedicated studio space, workshops and laboratories for computing, dye and materials chemistry, synthetic fibre production and textile testing. The University also offers degree courses in business management at Netherdale, run by its School of Management and Languages.

The campus also provides the head office of the Borders College, a Further Education Institution which was created in 1984 by the amalgamation of Galashiels Technical College, Henderson Technical College in Hawick, Duns Agricultural Centre and the Agricultural Centre at Newtown St. Boswells. Border College retains subsidiary sites at these locations, together with Peebles and Edinburgh. In 1993 the College was transferred from local authority control to independent status, governed by a Board of Management. The college offers a range of day and evening courses in areas such as business administration, life skills and social education, sports and leisure studies and trade-skills. Land-based courses are based in Newtown St. Boswells.

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