THREE roads south of Hawick are set for major improvements.

The rural roads will benefit from a total of £601,208 awarded by the Strategic Timber Transport Fund alongside £270,108 of investment from Scottish Borders Council.

The B699 near Shankend Quarry will be strengthened and have edges reconstructed following years of wear and tear.

The B6357 near Newcastleton will be strengthened at two section - around Dawstonburn and also at Kirndean.

And the D1/3 Roberton to Craik road will be strengthened as well as drainage and passing place improvements, and edge widening.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, SBC’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: “This allocation from the Strategic Timber Transport Fund, alongside investment from our own budgets, will greatly improve the rural roads identified as requiring attention.

"We recognise the importance of the road network to rural communities in terms of the local economy and employment, so this £900,000 investment is welcomed and compliments the additional £1.8million being spent on resurfacing across the Borders in this financial year.”

The Strategic Timber Transport Fund was set up by the Scottish Government in 2005 in recognition of the challenge faced in getting timber to market.

It is administered by Forestry Commission Scotland in order to facilitate the sustainable transport of timber in rural areas of Scotland for the benefit of local communities and the environment, maximising the value of monies available through innovative projects and partnerships.