South Scotland

Hawick site move for The Economist's founder

James Wilson Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption James Wilson, from Hawick, founded The Economist in London in the 19th Century

A new location has been found in his Borders home town for a statue of the man who founded The Economist.

The tribute to James Wilson - sculpted in 1865 - stood outside the magazines's head office in London until 2017.

It was gifted to Hawick when the publication moved to new premises and was located on Tower Knowe in the Scottish Borders town.

However, it subsequently got damaged and it has been agreed to move it to a spot outside Hawick's Heritage Hub.

Two fingertips on the statue's right hand went missing but it was never established if it was accidental or vandalism.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The statue is to be moved to a new spot in the town and possibly put in a glass box

Hawick's common good fund sub-committee has been looking at potential sites for the statue, with the Heritage Hub emerging as the frontrunner.

However, a spot inside was ruled out due to the floor not being strong enough to take its weight.

Instead, it was suggested that it could be put outside the building, partly under a canopy.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor George Turnbull said: "I'd be quite happy with the location, as it would still be looking in the direction of where he was born along the High Street, but it would be great if we could get a complete glass box for him."

Watson McAteer, who represents the same ward, added: "We'd be shifting it somewhere where there's a bit of protection from the elements and it's in a heritage area so I'd be quite happy with this."

Councillors voted unanimously to agree to relocate the statue, and also instructed officers to look into the cost of constructing a glass box to shield the statue from harm.