A PEEBLES-BASED food bank which is about to lose its current home could be forced to suspend services.

The Trussell Trust currently occupies 1 Silverbirch at Cavalry Park, from where it runs the Peeblesshire Foodbank.

Manager Fiona Dalgleish was told late last year about the proposed purchase of the unit – with the council offering assurances that it would help relocate the vital facility.

But Ms Dalgleish told the Peeblesshire News this week that the food bank’s future remains up in the air.

“We still don’t have premises,” she said. “We have been talking to the council about various premises they have.

“We are really concerned that we still do not have anything agreed.”

She added: “I do worry about suspending services. We need to move soon.

“We’re packing now but we haven’t got an agreement for a new space. We’ve been to see a space with the council but it’s a slow process.”

The food bank’s initial 18-month lease on the property ended and it had continued there on a month-to-month basis. Scottish Borders Council is in discussions with the food bank over identifying an alternative base.

According to its recent figures, the number of children being supported by the Peeblesshire Foodbank has risen by 36 per cent, and overall use of the service has risen by 20 per cent.

It is distributing up to five tons of food per month, says Ms Dalgleish.

She added: “Ordinary folk are struggling. It’s really hard worrying about a building on top of that.

“We know we’ve got lots of support but it would be good to have a new home sorted so we can keep supporting people.”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “Scottish Borders Council has been working with the Foodbank in Peebles which is operated by the Trussell Trust to provide them with alternative accommodation, when the lease on their current premises at Cavalry Park expires.

“The Council has identified space at Rosetta Road to allow the foodbank to continue operating and is now finalising arrangements with the Foodbank.”

Cademuir Property is in the process of acquiring the building, with the intention of relocating an independent GP surgery to the site.

Cademuir Clinic is currently based in shortterm accommodation in the town’s Cherry Court.

A report submitted with the application to the council said: “The proposal for the premises to accommodate an independent general practitioner’s consulting practice is considered to offer significant community benefits. A material consideration is that Peebles, and the Scottish Borders generally, are currently under-provisioned in all aspects of primary care.

“The demographics of the Borders demonstrate an ageing population with increasing long-term health needs. This proposed addition to the primary care workforce is something that should be welcomed and encouraged.

"General practitioner Ross Stewart is involved with a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare private practitioners who operate out of Cavalry Park.

"The Cademuir Clinic will undoubtedly be complementary to other businesses operating in the park an will contribute to the diversity and vitality at the locality.

"The report says that the site benefits from being in close proximity to a “wealth of other health care providers who have chosen to relocate in Cavalry Park”.