A BORDERS-based rescue team has been awarded almost £20,000 of government funding.

Borders Water Rescue Team is one of dozens of charities across the UK which will benefit from £1million from Westminster to allow volunteer search teams buy the equipment they need to save lives.

The Department for Transport this week revealed the 57 successful bids for the latest round of the Rescue Boat Grant Fund.

And collecting £18,169 is the Borders Water Rescue Team.

The cash will be used to buy a new boat, dry suits and other equipment to help them on life-saving missions.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: "It is important that the brave volunteers who carry out this vital work and help keep water users safe are appropriately supported.

"The latest round of the UK Government’s Rescue Boat Grant fund provides that.

"The fund aids water searches, rescues and recoveries undertaken by local emergency teams.

“I welcome the news that the Borders Water Rescue Team will receive funding from the UK Government in order to continue the vital work they carry out in Scotland.”

The scheme was launched in 2014 to provide £5million over five years to independent search and rescue teams working on inland waterways.

Over the past four years, 201 bids have been successful - helping a total of 98 search and rescue charities.

The money has already paid for 65 new boats in addition to launch vehicles, rafts, safety gear, and other costs to support rescue teams.

This year’s pot will fund 15 new boats and a hovercraft.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said: "Our rescue boat teams are the unsung heroes of the UK’s waterways. Their commitment and skill keeps people safe on and around our rivers, lakes and inshore areas.

“Lives have been saved as a result of this scheme and our additional funding will ensure that these tireless volunteers and charities can buy the craft, equipment, and other resources they need to provide vital round-the-clock services."

The bids for the latest round of funding were considered by an expert panel, chaired by officials and including representatives from DEFRA and the devolved administrations as well as expert advisers from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, RNLI and the Royal Yachting Association.