BOSSES from the Department of Work and Pensions are hoping to turn a former fashion store in Galashiels into the town's new job centre.

The DWP announced at the start of the year it was moving out of the current premises at New Reiver House, behind the High Street.

And that a deal was being done to take over the Channel Street units occupied by Dorothy Perkins and Burton.

But the move has now fallen through and DWP chiefs now hope to convert the former Internacionale outlet on Douglas Bridge into the job centre.

Due to the forthcoming general election the DWP is unable to discuss the planned move.

But a spokesman for agents JLL, who have submitted a change-of-use planning application on behalf of the DWP, stated: "The proposed use of the premises on Douglas Bridge is located significantly more centrally within the town centre than the current job centre location, which is off beat.

"The Douglas Bridge location is also located in very close proximity to the Galashiels Transport interchange and accordingly would be significantly more accessible than the current job centre.

"In terms of proximity to the main town centre and the unit's good accessibility to the Galashiels Transport interchange, it is considered that the use of the Douglas Bridge premises is likely to contribute towards joint shopping trips within the centre."

Internacionale, who went into administration, vacated the double two-storey units three years ago.

And despite active marketing from agents, the stores have remained empty.

Scottish Borders Council's planning officers will consider the application for a change of use from retail to services over the coming weeks.