Council keen to help High Street but onus is on private shop owners

SCOTTISH Borders Council has said it is up to shop owners to maintain their properties.

However, the local authority stressed the importance of working with local businesses and communities to improve Hawick High Street.

The news comes following concerns revealed last week over the impact derelict shop fronts were having on the town’s main thoroughfare – particularly the former Jackie Lunn’s shop, ex-Farmfoods and old Sonny Murray shop.

A spokesperson for the council said: “It is the responsibility of private sector owners to manage and maintain their own properties.

“The council has statutory powers to intervene if the property or elements of the property pose a danger to the public or if the condition of the building or land is such that its appearance is having a detrimental effect on the surrounding area.”

SBC has provided support to Future Hawick for the Shopjackets scheme, which has brightened up the former Teviot Flooring and Victoria Wine outlets.

The spokesperson added: “The council recognises how important maintaining the attractiveness of our High Street is for local businesses and communities. We have been working with local businesses and community groups to support improving our local high streets.

“In addition, the council is committed to the regeneration of our town centres through various infrastructure/public realm related projects and conservation heritage initiatives.”