THE remote village of Newcastleton has its own petrol station for the first time in a decade.

The new venture will also see every litre that is purchased pump a penny back into the community.

It is the first privately owned petrol station to open in the Scottish Borders for more than 25 years.

The Newcastleton Community Fuel Project was officially opened today by schoolchildren Rose Hawes, Sophia Forster and Zachary Paterson.

Scott Hay who was the last person to fill up in the village 10 years ago, was the first person to fill up at the new station.

Motorists have the choice of unleaded, diesel and from May, electrical charging points as well as air and water services. Fuel is supplied by Gulf.

More than 90 per cent of households in Newcastleton and the surrounding area own a car and are reliant on it as a means of transport and to access services.

Two thirds of residents have told those who set up the scheme cited that there would be no need to travel and that it would be more convenient.

The fuel station project is funded by Newcastleton Community Groups, Scottish Borders Council, Scottish Enterprise Rural Petrol Station Grant Scheme, BCCF Environmental Scottish Landfill Communities Fund, Transport Scotland and the Big Lottery Community Assets Fund.

The Big Lottery Fund gave £320,000 towards the cost of the £450,000 project.

Steve Hartley, chair of The Newcastleton & District Community Trust, said: "We might only be a small place, but what we lack in size, we more than make up for with vision, energy and a strong community that works together to achieve great things.

"For locals and visitors alike, we hope that everyone considers re-fuelling their vehicle here. Not only is it a great opportunity to re-discover our vibrant little village, you are also supporting our local community in a way which benefits every single person who lives in this special corner of the Scottish Borders."

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said: "This National Lottery funding will help reinstate a vital service which will bring huge benefits for people who live and work locally. The Newcastleton & District Community Trust, along with the wider community, have worked very hard to get to this point and we wish them every success with their new enterprise."

Jackie Green from Scottish Enterprise, Rural Petrol Station Grant Scheme, said: "Newcastleton and the Liddesdale valley is populated with small businesses with a high level of self-employed. This investment enables them to spend their time focusing on productivity, not losing a day’s work to seek fuel to deliver services.

"We are pleased to be able to support the community and the businesses in fulfilling their ambition of bringing fuel back to Newcastleton and congratulate them on achieving this ambitious undertaking."

Gerry Welsh, Gulf Retail Marketing Manager said: "Gulf Retail is delighted to be the fuel supplier to the Newcastleton Community Fuel Project. The local team involved deserve huge congratulations in securing a vital facility for the local community."