Hub at the heart of Hawick community faces cash crisis
In every sense of the word, Burnfoot Community Hub is at the heart of the community it serves.
But escalating utility bills led to the centre's closure this week as the result of significant financial pressures.
Now it is hoped that an urgent rescue package can be put together in the next few days.
Directors of Burnfoot Community Futures (BCF), the charity which owns and manages the building, are in talks with South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) and Scottish Borders Council in a bid to find a positive resolution to the crisis.
The hub provides a cafe and soft-play, a community garden, a food share facility and a function room.
It also stages cooking workshops, kids' parties, community events and much more.
The hub's loss to the community it serves would be a devastating blow and "unthinkable", said Hawick & Denholm councillor Staurt Marshall.
Mr Marshall, speaking on Friday, October 20, explained: “The current situation at the Hub is very worrying indeed and late last night and early this morning I have been communicating with SBC officers and others in order to try and get some urgent assistance for those who are running this superb facility .
"Its permanent closure would be unthinkable and the services and support it provides to both the community of Burnfoot and indeed the wider town is truly amazing.
"There can be no doubt that we are at a very critical stage and I know that SBC is doing everything it can to support the Hub at this difficult time."
News of the centre's struggle has led to townsfolk to express concern on social media sites, one saying: "A serious rescue package is needed, this is the heart of Burnfoot, offering essential community support and meeting places.
"It's a shame that the best service in Burnfoot has needed to close down, when really needed.
"It provides a supportive and friendly service, and the staff and volunteers actually become friends, even part of your extended family.
"A rescue package is seriously needed. The hub and the staff would be missed. It's heartbreaking news in these times."