BOSSES at Scottish Borders Council have confirmed the local authority won't inherit any debt when they accept the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

The 160 hand-stitched panels are currently in storage before going on display at New Lanark later this year.

They are due to arrive in the Borders early in 2020 when a new £6.7 million town-centre visitor centre in Galashiels is completed.

But the charity and associated business behind the Tapestry are both running at deficits.

Figures lodged with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, for the year to June 30, 2017, showed The Great Tapestry of Scotland attracted income of just £8,239 and incurred expenditure of £16,611.

In the previous financial year to June 2016 when it was ‘fully functional’ in exhibition mode it earned income of £96,667 while expenditure totalled £114,669.

The Tapestry panels were on display in Dundee from March to May 2016, and in Alloa from May to August 2017 - the rest of the time it was in storage.

Tapestry Trading (Scotland) Ltd, whose directors are Dr Elizabeth McCall Smith, Professor Alexander McCall Smith and Lesley Kerr, has also reported losses.

At the end of June 2017, the limited company had assets of £7,091 and creditors due £25,470.

Figures show the net current liabilities are £18,379 - up from £16,580.

Retired Borders journalist Bill Chisholm believes questions should be asked about projected incomes from the attraction when it arrives in Galashiels. He told us: "Will the tapestry’s financial fortunes be transformed after a £6 million makeover courtesy of Borders council taxpayers and the Scottish Government?

"The answer is probably as clear as Brexit."

Scottish Borders Council, with £2.5 million from the Scottish Government, is funding the new £6.7 million visitor centre in Galashiels.

Demolition work began on the former Poundstretcher building last week.

And building on the High Street site is expected to begin before the end of this year with a completion date in spring, 2020.

The local authority estimates the Tapestry will attract over 50,000 additional visitors to Galashiels each year - generating around £900,000 for the local economy and supporting more than 30 jobs.

Scottish Borders Council confirmed this week that it wouldn't be liable for any debt accrued by either the charity or business behind the attraction.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson told us: “The Great Tapestry of Scotland is being gifted to Scottish Borders Council and there will be no liability transferring from the company currently managing it.

"Any surplus/debt /liability will remain with the existing trustees.”