LOCAL councillors are leading calls for business space to be created in and around West Linton.

A shortage of available offices and workshops in parts of Peeblesshire is being blamed on a lack of start-ups and expansions.

On Monday evening a packed meeting of West Linton Community Council was told of economic development being hampered by the lack of floor space.

And Tweeddale West councillor Heather Anderson agreed to write to bosses at Scottish Borders Council in a bid to open more doors.

Councillor Anderson told the Peeblesshire News: "There is a complete lack of available sites for economic development round the West Linton and Broughton area and this is making it very difficult for local businesses to expand.

“It was a very lively meeting, with a number of the people in the room expressing their intention to grow their businesses and saying they would be interested in accessing a range of sites, from industrial workshops to high amenity office space.

"Some were unfortunately looking at relocating their businesses because of the lack of opportunity here.

"We can’t allow that to happen.”

Councillor Anderson has invited the head of Economic Development at the local authority as well as a principal planning officer to a meeting with local business owners to build the case for investment in the West Linton area.

Fellow councillor Kris Chapman has also met with senior council officials to ensure land for rural economic development is secured.

Councillor Chapman added: "We need business space to allow start ups to be set up and become established.

"West Linton has the highest number of self employed stating at 14.1 per cent according to the Federation of Small Businesses, so there is clearly a business need and demand for such facilities.

"We need new thinking to support our rural communities across Tweeddale like West Linton, Romano Bridge and Tweedsmuir."

Any small business in the West Linton area interested in accessing a site for development should contact either of the councillors directly on Heather.anderson@scotborders.gov.uk or Kris.Chapman@scotborders.gov.uk