THE number of Borderers still in the UK Government’s furlough scheme has dropped.

Statistics for the region in June showed that the number of employees receiving funding through the scheme has reduced since January.

At the start of the year, the number of employees on the furlough scheme in the Borders stood at 7,510.

For June this figure decreased to 2,650.

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John Lamont, Conservative MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, said: “This is really encouraging data and suggests that more and more people are getting back to work in the Borders, and businesses are starting to get back to their full capacity.”

The government data breaks down employees on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) by sector.

The sector which recorded the greatest number of employees on furlough in the Borders was ‘accommodation and food services’ – in January 1,670 Borderers were furloughed from this sector.

And across Scotland the number of people on furlough has more than halved between January and June.

For June there were 141,500 people on the scheme nationally compared with 319,250 at the start of 2021.

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Mr Lamont added: “The UK Government’s furlough scheme has been instrumental in saving jobs and livelihoods in the Borders and right across the UK.

"This encouraging data comes as the International Monetary Fund predicts the UK economy will grow at one of the fastest rates in the world.

“Of course, many businesses are not out of the woods yet and the last 16 months have been devastating for everyone.

“But it is a real positive to see these green shoots appearing in our area.”