GALASHIELS Jobcentre is to stay put at New Reiver house for the "long term".

The Department for Work and Pensions had wanted to move the facility to the former Internacionale retail unit in Douglas Bridge.

The proposals were originally rejected by Scottish Borders Council, but later approved by the Scottish Government on appeal.

But now the DWP has said it will not be relocating. 

John Reid from the DWP said: "In January 2017, we announced proposals for the future of our estate including Galashiels Jobcentre. "This move is part of Department of Work and Pensions' continued drive to deliver public services in more innovative and cost effective ways.

"We have sought to ensure that the estate from which we operate continues to meet the changing needs of our business and our claimants.

"Since January, we have been undertaking detailed planning to understand what this mean for our customers and staff and negotiating new leases with our landlords and partners.

"We have now reassessed the suitability of the current Galashiels Jobcentre site at New Reiver House and decided relocation does not provide good value for money. Therefore, our intention is to stay at New Reiver House long term.

"I hope this update is helpful in setting out our long term plan for Jobcentre Plus services in Galashiels."

And the news has been welcomed by Borders MP John Lamont (Cons).

The member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk said: "Planning decisions are a matter for local councillors and I’m pleased that the DWP have decided to respect their opinion. It would have been perfectly possible for the DWP to have pushed ahead with their plans for the move, but they chose not to.

"This news provides some welcome certainty to job centre users and staff. The DWP was sincere in its desire to create a more accessible Jobcentre for Galashiels, but the facility at New Reiver House is a good one, which works well."