SPIRALLING costs have been blamed for the immediate closure of a much-loved Borders visitor attraction.

There has been widespread shock expressed that the Born in Scotland restaurant and shop at Lanton Mill, near Jedburgh, has closed its doors.

Popular for its grass sledging feature, bosses have blamed its closure on ever-increasing cost pressures.

Its demise is a huge loss to the Borders tourism offering and a devastating pre-Christmas blow to the staff who have lost their jobs.

A Born in Scotland spokesperson said: “It is with huge sadness, that due to the spiralling cost of doing business, we have to close our restaurant and shop at Lanton Mill with immediate effect.

“We would like to thank all our customers for their loyalty over the last eight years, and make a special mention of our extraordinary staff, present and past, without whom we could never existed in the first person”.

Disappointed customers have taken to social media to express their sadness at the decision.

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One posted: “I am so sorry to hear this and sorry for your lovely employees. We’ve had so many happy family days out in Born in Scotland, sledging, pizza, skating! Thank you for everything and I wish everyone all the best for the future.”

Another described the closure as “devastating”,  saying: “We visited regularly with our dogs over the years when at a nearby caravan site.  Always a lovely couple of hours so devastating for you after all your hard work.”

Jedburgh & District councillor Scott Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for community & business development, said: “This was something that came as a shock. Whilst we all appreciate that costs are increasing on businesses I didn’t see this coming.

“It has got such a good reputation as a site. It’s got Hawick, it’s got Kelso, it’s got Jed and all the other small communities around it, it had a large feed-in, so this comes as a shock.

“As a council we have got the Scotland Loves Local gift card voucher scheme that we’re funding, and we’ve also been looking at other ways we can support business and we have the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, which is a bit of a godsend, but we do need the Scottish Government to start coming up with some credible immediate hits for the economy, which could be something like rates relief. We need additional support to allow us to help businesses more.

“While I know the communities in Lanton and Ancrum and Jedburgh will all rally, it’s still something that’s going to be missing from our tourism offering. I hope the staff and the employers are able to recover from this.”