NEARLY 400 workers in Selkirk have learned their office is closing.

OVO Energy's chief executive has invited the 380 employees to file for voluntary redundancy.

Borders MP John Lamont described the news as "devastating".

He said: "This is an already anxious time for many people so this news will be particularly difficult for those affected."

OVO, the second-largest energy company in the UK, took over the former-SSE office in January in a £500 million deal.

The company's chief executive Stephen Fitzpatrick called the decision "very difficult".

He said: "We have a brilliant team here and this news isn’t a reflection of anyone’s work.

"What should have been a much longer process to digitise the SSE business and integrate it with OVO has been accelerated due to the impact of the coronavirus."

Meanwhile, Mr Lamont, of the Conservatives, added: "OVO are a big employer in the Borders and this news will add further challenges for our local economy at a time when we are already dealing with the impact of coronavirus."

Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton said she is "ready to help" if required.

The Conservative member said: "Despite current social distancing measures, it is vital that anyone made redundant gets the usual help that someone would get under normal circumstances.

"I stand ready to help employees who require help at this difficult time.

"Anyone with concerns should contact me via the usual means."

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