WEST Linton’s Village Centre has been granted a stay of execution by council officials.

This week, the local authority announced its intentions to close the Village Centre at the end of September, sparking an outcry by residents.

And Wednesday night saw a show of solidarity as locals, community groups and councillors Eric Small (Cons) and Heather Anderson (SNP) attended the Village Centre’s monthly meeting to discuss the future of the building with a council representative.

As a result, the venue was granted a short reprieve with the proposed closure being postponed until the end of December.

This gives the Village Centre Group – set up in wake of closure plans announced by the council last December – an extra three months to formulate a business plan for the venue to become community-run.

The hall is home to the West Linton and District Historical Society archives and is regularly used by the community council and a number of small groups.

Ian Reid, a spokesman for the Village Centre Group said: “Martin Joyce from SBC joined us at our monthly meeting on Wednesday. After a lively, enthusiastic and, at times, passionate discussion, all agreed that the Village Centre should stay open beyond September 28, at least until the end of 2018.

“This will allow us all to work out whether we want the Village Centre to stay part of West Linton life for many years to come and, if so, how. Many thanks to everyone for helping make Wednesday night’s decision happen.

“There’s still a long way to go – but we’ll get there”.

Councillor Anderson said: “We were shocked to learn the news this week that the hall was scheduled for closure on Friday, September 28.

“We knew SBC planned to eventually decommission the building and, as a result, a very active Village Centre Group has been working over the last few months to build the business case for keeping the hall as a community asset. Everyone thought we had until the end of the year to come up with a plan.

“So we were delighted to reach an agreement by 10pm on Wednesday to keep the centre open until the end of December and come back from the brink.”

The Peeblesshire News revealed SBC’s intentions in December 2017 to transfer ownership of the centre to the community as part of a property review of its overall estate.

And earlier this month, we revealed that councillors backed a motion for SBC to take a more prominent role in safeguarding community centres.

Our article highlighted the efforts of Live Borders to offload ten facilities it operates across the region to volunteer-run community organisations.