THE Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team has opened its new base in Melrose.

The group, which has played a vital role in helping Borderers during the recent adverse weather, has relocated from Selkirk to the former fire station in Melrose's High Street.

And on Saturday, it was opened by Major General Mark J Strudwick CBE KStJ, Prior of St John Scotland.

Pete Matthews, team leader, Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team, said: "Tweed Valley MRT are delighted that our new base is now fully operational.

"This is the culmination of nearly a decade of searching for a suitable site and over four years of intensive effort to secure the former fire station in Melrose and to complete the extension and refurbishment project to convert the building into a state-of-the-art rescue facility.

"The project would not have been possible without the support and financial commitment of St John Scotland and we are honoured by the faith they have placed in us.

"The new base offers us facilities we could only have dreamt of previously and will greatly increase our ability to train our volunteers, store and maintain kit and ultimately – and most importantly – to allow us to better respond to the aid of those in need within our community."

Angus Loudon, executive director of St John Scotland, added: “St John Scotland is delighted to have been able to fund the acquisition and a large part of the refurbishment of the new Mountain Rescue base in Melrose for the Tweed Valley team.

"The opening of the new base does not mark the end of our relationship, and we look forward to maintaining and strengthening our existing links with the team."