BUILDERS will start work next week on extra care housing for the elderly in Galashiels.

The project was thrown into doubt last year after contamination on the site of the former Glenfield Mill forced up the price.

But Scottish Borders Council, who are working in partnership with Eildon Housing, agreed to fill any funding gap.

A total of 39 extra care apartments will be built on the site to cater for the region's growing elderly population.

Eildon’s Chief Executive Nile Istephan told us: “Supporting our customers in later life is absolutely key and building these extra care flats designed specifically to ensure that tenants can live independently in later life, in a safe and secure environment, is a crucial step forward.

"We want to make sure people have the specialist support they need, and we’ll be working with health and social care partners to make that happen.

"A major part of that work with be providing services that assists those living with dementia which is a key part of our strategy."

Scotland’s elderly population is growing faster than the rest of the UK, with the Borders predicted to have a 47 percent increase over the next 14 years in over 65 year olds.

Scottish Borders Council and Eildon Housing plan to build three extra care developments over the next five years.

Hart Builders will arrive at the Langhaugh site next week to start the first of the planned developments.

Andy Mallice, managing director of Hart Builders said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Eildon Housing Association to deliver these new homes in Galashiels.

"This is the second extra care housing development we are building in the Borders to support the council’s integrated strategic plan for older people’s housing, care and support needs.

"The 39 self-contained flats will enable older people to live independently for longer, providing residents with high quality, fully accessible homes and sociable communal facilities and amenities.”