THE presence of a controversial lightweight concrete has been confirmed at two fire stations in the Borders.

Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) has been identified in the emergency buildings in Hawick and Galashiels.

Action was taken four years ago to reinforce the stations, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has revealed.

But cash constraints mean that replacement of the concrete is not possible.

In a statement Iain Morris, SFRS’s acting director of asset management, said: “The safety of our staff is paramount and immediate action was taken as soon as defects to the roof construction were identified in 14 of our sites in 2019. We have in place temporary supports to reinforce areas of the roofing and we have maintained operations from these locations. We will continue to monitor these measures.

“In most cases, the safest and most cost-effective solution is to rebuild. However, as a service we do not have the necessary capital budget provision to rebuild these locations or meet the continuing capital backlog to maintain or upgrade our estate.”