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South of Scotland Alliance meets with Deputy First Minister

John Swinney Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has met with the South of Scotland Alliance to discuss the main economic challenges facing businesses and communities in the south of Scotland.

At the meeting in Dumfries, he was updated on the progress of the South of Scotland Rural Regional Economic Development Programme.

But other topics discussed included constitutional changes, European funding, superfast broadband and mobile phone coverage.

The alliance, which is made up of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Borders Council, and Scottish Enterprise, said the meeting was "constructive".

“This was an important meeting with Mr Swinney where we raised key issues concerning the economic development of the south of Scotland and the importance of working with the Scottish Government.

“Positive progress is being made on some of our key economic projects such as the Borders Railway, but others such as Stranraer Waterfront still need further Government and national agency support.

"There is also still a great deal of work to be done to push forward effective programmes to support businesses in the south of Scotland in relation to innovation, internationalisation and leadership and to ensure we have comprehensive mobile phone coverage and broadband links in our remoter areas.’’

– Cllr Colin Smyth, Alliance Chair, and Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee

Closure of Dumfries leisure centre extended

DG One is expected to remain closed for a further 13 months Credit: ITV Border

A flagship leisure centre in Dumfries and Galloway is set to remain closed for longer than expected.

The DG One facility in Dumfries, which opened seven years ago, has been shut for four months to allow major repairs.

But the work has been delayed and it's thought a further 13 months of work will be needed before the swimming pool can re-open.

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Second strike at Sellafield

Contractors at the Sellfield site have walked-out for the second time this week Credit: ITV Border

1,300 contractors have walked-out at Sellafield for the second time this week.

They originally downed tools on Monday after a dispute over scaffolding on a project to replace old ventilation.

While the issues surrounding that have been resolved, the workers are now unhappy with contractor Doosan Babcock and several health and safety Issues.They have said they plan to remain on strike until Monday.

Doosan Babcock hasn't commented.

Galashiels to home Scottish Centre of Textiles

The Scottish Centre of Textiles will be based in Galashiels Credit: ITV Border

It was confirmed today that the Scottish Centre of Textiles will be based in Galashiels.

Project leaders Hamish Carruthers and Alisdaire Lockhart will now work with Heriot Watt University and local MP Michael Moore on the first stage of the Scottish Centre of Textiles project, which is to establish a Scottish National Textile Archive.

It is hoped that the archive will further enhance the reputation of Scottish Textiles and increase footfall to the Borders, both in terms of tourists and professionals.

Michael Moore has described the decision as bringing the completion of the project ‘a step closer’.

“Here in the Borders we have a world-class textiles industry and this Centre has the potential to further enhance its reputation as well as boosting local tourism.

“Choosing where to locate the project in the Borders has been a difficult process but with the railway and other attractions such as Abbotsford, it was decided today that it would be based in Galashiels."

– Michael Moore, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

Workers return as talks start

The mass walk-out has ended today Credit: ITV Border

Contractors that walked-out at Sellafield on Tuesday have returned to work today.

Talks to settle the dispute are also set to start as part of the agreement to workers ending the "unofficial action".

The mass walk-out was caused by a disagreement between two companies over who owns a piece of scaffolding at the site.

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Sellafield walk-out is over scaffolding

Around 1,300 contractors based at Sellafield have walked out Credit: ITV Border

The mass walk-out at Sellafield has reportedly been caused by a dispute between two companies over who owns a piece of scaffolding at the site.

The union UNITE is claiming its members may not be insured to touch the equipment.

The main contractor Doosan Babcock has said it's in talks with unions to try and resolve the matter.

"Doosan Babcock can confirm that it is in consultation with its employee union representatives to fully understand and resolve the unofficial industrial strike action undertaken at Sellafield.

"While those talks are underway, we are unable to comment further."

– Spokesperson, Doosan Babcock

Listed building in Brampton to become Cranstons

The building will become one of the biggest retail outlets in the town Credit: ITV Border

The former HSBC bank in Brampton is to be turned into a food hall.

The bank closed a year ago, angering local people and throwing the future of the Grade Two listed building into uncertainty.

Now Cranstons has completed a deal to create one of the biggest retail outlets in the town.

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