Historic fashion school plans to axe 25% of jobs

Borders College at Heriot-Watt University Credit: ITV Border

It has been a Galashiels institution since the year that Coco Chanel was born, just less than 130 years ago.

But the School of Textiles and Design, part of Heriot-Watts University, is proposing cutting 10 staff posts, which has prompted an angry reaction from staff.

Mark Timmins, Director of Fashion at the school, said: "One of the really exciting things is we bring in young people into the Borders who stay here."

"They develop their businesses here, they employ people. If we are going to turn round and say 'it is not important'....it is going to have major implications."

"There is quite a lot of anger and puzzlement as well that this should come at a time when we are actually very successfully growing in several areas."

"These job cuts came on Monday as a bolt out of the blue, we had no idea these were coming, it has come at a time which is a very difficult time for staff."

The announcement came as six of the school's students have been nominated at the Scottish Fashion Awards.

Students have set up a campaign, to make sure they're not affected by potential cuts.

But bosses at the University say the school has been making a loss, which they need to address.

In a statement the university said: "The School is undergoing a consultation on implementation of the plan including more flexible staffing arrangements such as redeployment and overall working hours.

"The University is working closely with the staff and the unions to ensure that the changes can be met through voluntary means where possible."

Unions say the cuts are unfair, and that they will fight to make sure no staff posts go.