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Scottish Borders Council praise Rally organisers

The rally will go ahead but not on closed roads Credit: ITV Border

Scottish Borders Council has responded to the announcement that the Jim Clark Rally will go ahead this year, but in a different location.

Organisers were forced to look elsewhere as investigations continue into a crash that killed three people during last year's closed road event.

But while the local authority ruled that the rally can't be held on the Berwickshire roads in 2015, organisers plan to hold a rally in the Kielder forest instead with a base at Kelso.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said:

"We are very pleased that the rally organisers have managed to arrange an event for this summer, and that it will be based in the Scottish Borders.

"The use of private land is a good alternative to ensure a Jim Clark Rally can take place in 2015, and we continue to look forward to the event's return to closed public roads in the future"

– Scottish Borders Council spokesperson

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Lamont: Rally news 'welcome'

MSP John Lamont has welcomed the news that this year's Jim Clark Rally will be going ahead:

“It is very welcome news that the organisers of the Jim Clark Rally have been able to organise a special stage event for 2015.

"I am especially pleased that the rally will start in the Borders, before heading across the Border.

"I also look forward to meeting with the Lord Advocate shortly to discuss what can be done to ensure the planning for the 2016 event is not unnecessarily delayed.”

– John Lamont, MSP Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire

Jim Clark Rally - will it take place in 2015?

The promoters of the Jim Clark Rally say they will stage an event in May next year, despite being banned from using the usual public roads.

Last week, Scottish Borders Council said an investigation into the death of three people at this year's event wouldn't be finished in time for the rally to be held.

But thousands of people have signed up to a campaign calling for the rally to be reinstated and today the local MSP asked the Scottish government to step in. Kathryn Samson reports.

Jim Clark Rally - event promised

Promoters of the Jim Clark Rally - which was axed for 2015 - are promising there will be an event in May but no details have been released.

In a statement they said that 'there will be an event next year on the weekend of 30/31 May'. But they haven't clarified what it will be, saying only that the format has to be decided.

Scottish Borders Council last week said the rally couldn't go ahead as normal until police investigations into the deaths of three spectators have been completed. The council is the only body which can give the approval for public road closures which has been an essential part of the traditional rally.

"The promoters of the annual Jim Clark Rally have announced that there will be an event next year on the weekend of 30/31 May. As yet, the format of this 45th running of the rally has to be decided.

The organising team are working with MPs, MSPs and other relevant authorities to ensure that an event worthy of the name and reputation of twice F1 World Champion Jim Clark will be staged in his home county of Berwickshire.

The huge team of volunteers behind the organisation of this event have been greatly encouraged by the amount of public support, both locally and nationally, that they have received for the event to continue.

The promoters have also been greatly heartened by the support from both Mr John Lamont MSP (member for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) and Michael Moore MP (member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)

This statement of intent has also been welcomed by two of Scotland’s top national motor sporting championships, the Scottish Rally Championship and the Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship.

Planning for the 2015 event is already underway, although the final format of the event has yet to be decided as the promoters are considering numerous options."

– Statement from the Promoters of the Jim Clark Rally

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MP Michael Moore responds to rally cancellation

The MP, for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, says the decision has 'taken everyone by surprise'. Credit: PA

Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore has responded to the Scottish Borders Council's decision not to allow next year's rally to go ahead.

Read: Jim Clark Rally cancelled

The MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk says the decision has 'taken everyone by surprise'.

"This decision has taken everyone by surprise as the indications to date were that the rally would be allowed to proceed.

There are serious ongoing investigations which must be allowed to conclude, but it had been suggested that, as in other cases, that was not incompatible with proceeding with the event next year.

We need urgent clarification of the steps which will be necessary to allow this decision to be reversed and we need the full co-operation of all the authorities involved to speed decisions up.

This rally is a significant sporting and financial event for Berwickshire. We must be able to combine appropriately thorough investigation into last year's tragedy with proper planning for the year ahead."

– Michael Moore MP (Lib Dem)

'It is a great shame it won't run next year'

John Cleland is a former touring car champion from the Borders. Credit: PA

The rallying community are surprised by the announcement that the Jim Clark Rally will not go ahead in 2015, says a former touring car champion from the Borders.

John Cleland has been involved with organising the Jim Clark Rally, and says those that run it are surprised by the decision.

Scottish Borders Council and Police Scotland have agreed that the 2015 rally should be cancelled, as investigations into a fatal crash earlier this year continue.

Three people died when a rally car came of the road and hit spectators.

"This was a surprise, there had been no real indication that this was going to happen. This event is part of the Borders, Jim Clark is part of the Borders and it has such a massive history. This event has been going such a long time, it is a great shame it won't run next year."

– John Cleland, Former British Touring Car Champion

Jim Clark Rally cancelled for 2015

Three people were killed and six injured when cars collided with spectators in two different crashes at the motor rally. Credit: PA

Scottish Borders Council has confirmed that the Jim Clark Rally will not run in May, 2015.

The decision was made following the Council's discussions with Police Scotland and partners.

“Investigations into the tragic events of the 2014 rally are still ongoing and these would need to be concluded before detailed planning for the 2015 event could begin to allow all parties to have a clear understanding of the full circumstances of the incident.”

– Superintendent Angus MacInnes of Police Scotland

Due to ongoing investigations into the deaths of three spectators earlier this year, the rally will not run next May. However, Scottish Borders Council have said the rally may take place in the future.

“The deaths of three spectators at this year’s rally were a tragedy that hit all those associated with the Jim Clark Memorial Rally and the wider Borders community very hard. The safety of the public at future events is of paramount importance to us all.

The Jim Clark Memorial Rally is a well-loved event in the Scottish Borders’ sporting calendar, providing a £3.5m boost to the region’s economy, and this break in the running of the event has no impact on the legislation allowing it to run in the future.”

– Tracey Logan, Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Council

2015 Jim Clark Rally will go ahead

Next year's Jim Clark Rally will go ahead if organisers agree to recommendations to prevent future accidents.

Three spectators were killed when a car left the road during the event in the Borders at the end of May.

A safety review was ordered following the tragedy, and the death of a woman at another rally in the Highlands in February.

Scotland's Sport Secretary told ITV News the Jim Clark Rally is important for the Borders economy, but the priority is the safety of spectators.

From Holyrood, our reporter Joe Pike has more.

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