‘Blow for Selkirk’ as NGT sheds 16 jobs

NGT co-op in Selkirk.
NGT co-op in Selkirk.

Selkirk’s Co-op NGT superstore will close in July, with the loss of 12 full-time and four part-time local jobs, staff were told last Friday.

The electrical and furnishing store had faced a “tough trading environment”, the Co-op admitted.

The struggling outlet on Dunsdalehaugh is the second to close there this year, after Baxters shut its shop in February, with the loss of 20 jobs.

“It’s another blow to Selkirk,” Selkirkshire Councillor Gordon Edgar said. “I understand they’re trying to relocate jobs, but it looks like there will be a number of redundancies. It’s a disappointing loss for Selkirk. It is an attraction, so businesses in the whole of the town will suffer. It’s part of the gateway to Selkirk, but now they’ll have to shutter the glass, and it’ll look quite bad.

A spokesperson confirmed: “Staff have been informed of the decision, which has been taken with the greatest reluctance and follows strenuous efforts to find a way to continue to operate the store on a sustainable basis. It is not, in any way, a reflection on the commitment and hard work of the store team.

“Every effort is being made to redeploy as many as possible of the 12 members of staff with The Co-operative, or to help them find alternative employment. The Co-operative food store in High Street, Selkirk, is unaffected by this decision and will remain open.”

Earlier in March, we reported how staff were told the store stood in danger of closing, unless urgent changes were made. Managers, we were told, were “open minded” about options – one they pursued was sharing floorspace with interested retailers. The Co-op then sought clarification of planning conditions with Scottish Borders Council (SBC), to confirm it was legal to sell any food retail items at the store. An SBC spokesperson told us: “We accepted that the permission allowed use for food retail, provided that the parking provision was in place to meet the necessary standards.”

But Cllr Edgar added: “It looks like their recovery plan has not worked.”