Co-op bid to turn Earlston petrol station into store

Co-operative Food store
Co-operative Food store

A week after receivers started winding down the Earlston firm of J. Rutherford, the Co-operative Group has applied to convert the car showroom and petrol station into a food store.

The petrol pumps and canopy would be removed and parking for 32 cars created around the premises, which would be rearranged internally.

A planning statement submitted with the application to the council says: “The Co-operative Group is committed to bringing forward investment in the Scottish Borders, and Earlston is an important village with a growing population that would benefit from improved shopping provision.

“The proposed development seeks to deliver a new modern convenience store to meet the day-to-day shopping needs of the residents of Earlston, but it will also create a stimulus for development elsewhere in the village, supporting sustainable transport patterns and creating local employment opportunities.”

Fifteen employees of J. Rutherford were made redundant by joint receivers Andrew Davison and Colin Dempster of EY last Tuesday, appointed at the request of the company directors.

The receivers have been working with the remaining 10 workers on the winding-down process.

Founded in 1911 as agricultural engineers, the firm grew, incorporating car sales franchises, trailer centres and the petrol station.

Mr Davison said: “The company lost a number of its franchises over the past 12 months owing to a variety of reasons. Despite considerably reducing its cost base, the directors recognised they were unable to continue trading.”