THE Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has highlighted 11 town centres in the Borders which are under threat due to local closures.

They compiled a list of 98 towns and cities throughout Scotland which have recently seen the closures of services such as bank branches, Sheriff Courts, Crown Post Offices and Police Counters.

They warn that these closures pose a threat to efforts to turn around Scottish high streets and rejuvenate local economies. With Borders towns such as Hawick, Duns and Selkirk on the list, local MSP John Lamont has urged the Scottish Government to take heed of the warning, and start to provide more financial help.

Local MSP John Lamont said: “Many towns in the Borders have been hit with the closure of important local services in recent months, and this has undoubtedly had a negative impact on their local economies. Whether it’s the closure of a local bank branch, or the SNP’s closure of Police Counters and Sheriff Courts, they have all restricted the number of jobs and visitors in our town centres.

“When we should be trying to do everything we can to rejuvenate our high streets, these closures are counteracting a lot of the good work that has been achieved. It is no wonder that the FSB have chosen to voice their concerns as well, as many of the small businesses they represent will be under increased danger of closing if something is not done to boost these local economies.” Mr Lamont added: “It is now up to the SNP Government to listen to these concerns and take action to save our towns. We cannot afford to see the economies of these towns suffer any more, but without further investment from Holyrood we face seeing more significant closures in years to come.”