REASSURANCE has been sought over the long-term future of a Borders leisure facility after a month-long closure for repair works was announced.

A raft of leisure facilities across the Borders are to close this month and in March as upgrades are carried out.

Members of Scottish Borders Council endorsed the  necessary closures of the Live Borders-run facilities when they met on Wednesday (February 21).

The closures are needed to ensure electrical inspections/works are undertaken and it is proposed that, given buildings are closed, further survey and scoping work is undertaken, subject to available resources.

As part of the closure plans Teviotdale Leisure Centre in Hawick will be closed for almost the entirety of March.

At this week’s meeting, Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall sought assurances that the closure was not the “beginning of the end” of the facility.

He said: “I’m very disappointed that Teviotdale Leisure Centre is facing one of the longest closures.

“I fully understand the reasons behind this as it is a building that is 42 years old and had an original shelf life of 30 years.

“My disappointment comes because of the massive inconvenience that closure will have on the Hawick public, and indeed its many weekend visitors, and Live Borders must do all they can to reduce the length of this planned timescale.

“My disappointment also comes after learning recently that wiring and electrical issues were first discovered at Teviotdale some five months ago.

“Since these closures were first announced a couple of weeks ago it has been put to me by many regular users of the facility, and in particular those who frequently attend the gym or the swimming pool, are we witnessing the beginning of the end of our leisure facility in Hawick?

“My response to those users groups is that I’m hopeful that by carrying out such important upgrades and in continuing to invest in identifying maintenance issues in the building it will hopefully provide reassurance, to the townsfolk and the wider Borders community, that Teviotdale will come out of this much stronger and I’m keeping everything crossed that that is indeed the case.”

Tweeddale East councillor Julie Pirone sought to give reassurance, saying: “That’s exactly what happened to us at Peebles Swimming Pool. It was delayed and delayed because other work was carried out at the time and while it was frustrating for everyone who used the facilities, it did mean we had a fully fixed pool when we were finished with it. There may be some extra pain but it will be worth it in the long term.”

The facilities which will be affected in February and March are:

▪ Kelso Swimming Pool – 5-day partial closure (March 4-8),

open late afternoon into evening.

▪ Gytes Leisure Centre (Peebles) – 5-day partial closure (February 19-23), open late afternoon into evening.

▪ Tweedbank Bowling Centre/Tweedbank Sports Centre – 2.5-day partial closure for bowling centre, 2.5-day partial closure for sports centre (week commencing March 11). Both open late afternoon

into evening.

▪ Teviotdale Leisure Centre (Hawick) – will be closed for approximately one month (March 4-29) to allow essential works to be undertaken following a previous inspection undertaken in 2023.

Additionally, planned plant, mechanical and refurbishment works at Eyemouth Leisure Centre are currently being delivered with support from Scottish Borders Council.

This work commenced in November 2023 and was due to complete by February 2024, but has had to be extended due to a number of unforeseen issues within the building, resulting in an extended period of closure.