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Suspicious fire in Hawick

Police Scotland are appealing for witnesses after a suspicious fire in Hamilton Road, Hawick.

A shed attached to kennels housing racing greyhounds was set on fire at around 7pm, on Sunday March 8.

The shed was destroyed, but the dogs were unharmed.

"This was a deliberate attempt to cause significant damage and which could have resulted in serious injury to the animals.

"We are keen to hear from anyone with information that can help us trace those responsible."

– Chief Inspector John Scott

Police appeal after Hawick assault

Police are appealing for witnesses, after a 64-year-old man was assaulted in Hawick.

At around 11.30am on Sunday, March 8, the man was attacked near to the Hawick Walled Gardens.

He sustained facial and head injuries, and was treated as a precaution by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The suspect is described as a white man in his 30-40s, wearing a dark boiler suit. He was also seen driving a red forklift type machine.

“This was an vicious attack that has left the victim badly shaken.

“This attack happened in broad daylight and believe there must have several witnesses. We are eager to speak to anyone who may have seen the assault.

"We are also particularly keen to speak to the female driver who was parked nearby.”

– PC Bruce Dodds

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Police appeal after theft of jackets

Police Scotland are appealing for witnesses after a robbery at the Johnston's of Elgin Mill shop on Mansfield Road in Hawick.

It happened Thursday 5 February, at around 2:30am.

A variety of men’s outdoor jackets made by Polarquilt, Beaufort and Corbridge, were taken.

“This has been a high-value theft and I would ask anyone who believes they have been offered these stolen jackets for sale to please get in touch with us immediately.

“In addition, anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity around the store in the early hours of last Thursday, or who has information relevant to this investigation should also get in touch.”

– Constable Joanne Flynn, Police Scotland

£2000 worth of Barbour jackets stolen

Approximately £2000 worth of Barbour jackets were stolen from Johnston's of Elgin Mill Shop Credit: PA

Police in Hawick are investigating the theft of approximately £2000 worth of Barbour jackets.

Eleven men's jackets were stolen following a break-in to Johnston's of Elgin Mill Shop on Mansfield Road at around 2.30am this morning.

Police are appealing for information about the incident.

Aldi store opens in Hawick

Aldi store comes to Hawick Credit: PA

Cut-price supermarket giant Aldi have confirmed they are opening a new store in Hawick.

The German-based company - who have 9,000 outlets in 18 different countries- have identified a site at Wilton Mills in Commercial Road.

The plans will be revealed at a public exhibition in the Heart of Hawick building.

"We are very excited about the prospect of coming to Hawick. The Aldi brand is very popular with Borders customers and we look forward to meeting as many local people as possible on December 18 to explain what we have in store for Hawick."

– Graham Nicolson, property director Aldi stores

'This is a really crucial time for Hawick High Street'

High Streets all over our region have suffered in the past couple of years the sight of closed shops and empty premises is all too familiar.

Today the spotlight was on the town of Hawick, with a visit from a Scottish government minister, who came to see the extent of the problem for himself. Lori Carnochan reports.

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'People have to support their local businesses'

Derek MacKay spent the morning walking around the town with local traders and Borders MSP Paul Wheelhouse. Credit: ITV Border

Derek MacKay, the Scottish Planning Minister, has been walking around Hawick with Borders MSP Paul Wheelhouse to discuss the state of the town's High Street.

Many shops on the High Street are empty and some businesses are struggling. Like many other towns across the south of Scotland and Cumbria, small independent shops are having to compete with large supermarkets.

Local MSP Paul Wheelhouse has praised the positive community spirit, but says that everyone has a duty to support the high street stores.

"A really important message is that people do have to support their local businesses. It's always difficult competing against big supermarkets due to convenience and the likes of easy and free parking. But we no have a duty to work with the local businesses and the Scottish Government to do something about this problem here in Hawick."

– Paul Wheelhouse, MSP for South of Scotland, SNP

Planning Minister discusses Hawick High Street

The Scottish planning minister has been in Hawick today to discuss problems facing the town's High Street

Derek MacKay met with local MSP Paul Wheelhouse and traders to discuss the best way of improving what the town has to offer. Some locals say the situation is at crisis point, with so many High Street businesses closing.

Planning Minister visits Hawick

The Scottish Planning Minister has been in Hawick to discuss the state of the town's High Street. Credit: ITV Border

The Scottish Planning Minister has been in Hawick to discuss the state of the town's High Street. Derek MacKay spent the morning walking around the town with local traders and Borders MSP Paul Wheelhouse.

Many shops on the High Street are currently empty and some businesses are at breaking point. There's also an immediate threat of some of the town's larger chain retailers also shutting up shop.

"So the solutions involved- community ownership, community leadership and regeneration. I think it also involves rate support to incentivise people to open up and stay in our town centres, and schemes that can improve the local environment aswell. So it's a mixture of government and community action, working very closely with the private sector who own, of course, most of the properties on the high street."

– Derek MacKay, Local Government and Planning Minister for Scotland

Local traders are worried about the amount of vacant properties on the high street, and think that the rates could be contributing to the problem.

"I agree with the small business rates relief but I think that everybody should contribute to that. Not just the shops that have large frontages or are on the main street, but every shop should contribute, including charity shops."

– Jim Hay, Local businessman

Discovering the WW1 history of Stobs camp

The Borders played an important role in the First World War. In 1914, one of the stops on the Waverley Railway line was at the tiny hamlet of Acreknow, near Hawick, the site of a military camp.

In the recent edition of Border Life, Emma Baker takes a trip back in time to discover the history of the site. And here's just part of her report, where she meets expert Gordon Gilfeather.

Stobs Camp was an army training base which became a prisoner of war camp during the 1st World War.

Emma Baker discovers that at one time 6,000 people lived there, producing a German language newspaper and making products for the local community. Plus Fiona Armstrong looks at a new plan to conserve fuel bills for the elderly.

Watch the full report on Border Life.

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