THE future of sport and leisure services in the Borders is set to be discussed after a review’s completion.

Council leader Euan Jardine said the process had made it clear that the status quo was unsustainable.

More than 6,500 people gave feedback during the joint review carried out by the local authority and Live Borders.

READ MORE: Police squash rumours of attacks on women in Borders town

It came after it was revealed that the trust – set up by Scottish Borders Council in 2016 to operate cultural, sport and leisure venues – was facing “unprecedented” financial issues.

Mr Jardine, a Conservative councillor for Galashiels, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to provide their input to the joint review, through the online surveys and the various engagement events.

“The report provides the council and Live Borders with a clear direction of travel and identifies some further transformational work that is required, within the two organisations but also with our communities.

READ MORE: Two Borders companies join forces to share areas of expertise

“It is clear the status quo in terms of services, facilities and funding is not sustainable.

“We must work together to grasp some nettles and also seize the opportunities that exist to ensure that our sport, leisure and cultural services and facilities can be improved, that we support the health and wellbeing of our residents and put ourselves on a sustainable footing for the next decade and beyond.

“Following the completion of the review and the presentation of the consultants’ recommendations internally, we’ve had very positive discussions and I believe the consolidated set of recommendations being put to council for agreement will enable us to move forward together.”

READ MORE: Eco friendly High Croft Play Park opens in Kelso

The focus of the joint review was on the quality, quantity, accessibility, affordability and ongoing sustainability of services and facilities.

The council said "a number" of the 26 recommendations from consultants engaged to support the joint review were being put forward for agreement.

It added that some had been "varied or expanded following constructive discussions" between the council and Live Borders.

Alison Moore, chair of Live Borders, said: “The joint review and the feedback from the Borders community has reiterated just how valued our services are within the local area.

READ MORE: The Doddie88 cycling and walking challenge reaches target

“While we recognise that the report highlighted a number of areas for further consideration and improvement, some of these were already known to us and work is already under way to resolve them.

“For me the clearest message of all is that we must concentrate on the services we offer and ensure that the property estate from which we deliver our services is fit for the future and sustainable.

“By doing that that we can focus on delivering excellent services, generate more income and deliver on our own objectives and those set for us by the council.

“I have no doubt that by Live Borders and the council working together and through our committed, experienced and knowledgeable staff we can ensure that the charity and our relationship with the council and Borderers can be healthier, happier and stronger.”

READ MORE: Police hunt vandals that damaged vehicle in A7 layby

Live Borders currently operates services from a total of 30 sport and leisure facilities, including six swimming pools, and 23 cultural facilities, including libraries and museums, in addition to providing 10 community centres and 12 town halls.

High inflation, vastly increased energy costs and the need to work towards net zero targets are among the problems facing Live Borders.

An ageing property estate which is becoming increasingly costly to maintain is also affecting service delivery and finances.

Many council-owned facilities are requiring significant investment or replacement if they are to continue to operate.