A REMOTE Borders village shop which provides a lifeline to its community has announced plans to keep the sun out of its customers’ eyes – and provide them with shelter from the storm.

Established by the local community three years ago, Morebattle Community Shop Ltd has become a successful business and the hub of a very resilient rural community.

Job-sharing managers and a team of 20 volunteers do a great job in offering a full range of food and household necessities at competitive prices.

The shop also hosts the post office, an essential service, on two mornings per week.

The shop is seven miles from the nearest town – Kelso – and an irregular bus service makes supermarket shopping a problem for those with mobility problems.

Footfall is enhanced in the summer thanks to its key position on the St Cuthbert’s Way, being the first shop on the St. Boswells side that walkers encounter on their route.

Now a planning application has been submitted to Scottish Borders Council to install an awning on the shop front and to relocate signage – to address a problematic issue with the sun.

A report with the application says: “Our shop frontage faces due south, and at certain times of the day and for most of the year, the sun will penetrate our large windows creating glare and excessive solar heat gain.

“This is a problem for stock and for our staff, volunteers and customers. Attempts to mitigate these problems with roller blinds have not been entirely successful, making the shop appear to be closed when it is open for business.

“It therefore seems sensible to install a retractable awning. This will have the desired effect of cutting the sun’s penetration of the building, allowing us to control glare and solar gain, while showing our business to be welcoming and open.

“An additional benefit will be the provision of shelter for customers and those waiting for the bus service to Kelso and Yetholm.

“The awing will be a high quality Weinor, with remote controlled electrically operated mechanism. This will also feature a self activated emergency retraction system that will withdraw the awning in the event of a strong wind”.