BSARU Rescue Base

BSARU desperately need a proper Rescue Base in their area.

Help Please! BSARU Desperately Need a New Base!

The Challenge

 Current Garage at Kelso Racecourse

The unit’s team of 26 volunteers currently works out of Kelso police station and the garage at the town’s racecourse that houses its three rescue vehicles.

  • The land that the current garage facility stands on is rented, current lease expires in 4 years and has a 2 month notice clause. We cannot develop the current garage on this basis.
  • Garage does not provide enough space for equipment to be stored in one location.  The new Sprinter barely fits! 

    The New Vehicle is a Tight Squeeze!

  • Team's trailer stored at a separate location - Kelso Police Station - involving more time taken to respond to a callout
  • Garage is unheated, uninsulated and unsuitable for storing equipment such as torches, GPS, clothing, defibrillators, medical gases
  • No training or meeting accommodation
  • No toilet facilities. 
  • No proper address to receive deliveries of equipment and supplies.

Project Hurdles

The team have been actively searching for a suitable location and/or premises to build or convert to a base for the last 4 years, and have been carefully managing funds raised to build up a reserve to start off the project. 

  • No major towns or population concentrations in the team's area of operation - Eastern Borders and East Lothian.
  • Few ambulance/fire/police buildings in this area being released for re-use, which other teams have been able to take advantage of.
  • We have a small target local area/population for supporters/fundraising, raising awareness and potential team members
  • The Order of St John, who have helped many Mountain Rescue teams to acquire bases, no longer help fund capital projects. 
  • Government Funding to Scottish Mountain Rescue does not cover operating costs, therefore team already spend significant time fundraising to make up this shortfall - First aiding at rideouts/offroad events in return for donations, social fundraising events, sponsored walks/challenges, individual team members undergoing sponsored events/challenges.

The Ambition

Plans have been drawn up for a proper garage to accomodate all 3 vehicles plus trailer, equipment storage and drying, toilets, kitchen area and training/meeting room.

Site identified at Kelso’s Pinnaclehill Industrial Estate, close to the Vermilion Dental Practice. The 1,900 sq yd site being eyed up as a potential new rescue base is currently vacant. This would give us:

  • A permanent base will vastly improve how we operate and the services we can deliver to our community
  • Permanent, visible physical presence, with a proper address for invoicing/deliveries
  • Decent, heated, insulated storage to store, organise and maintain our valuable equipment.
  • Meeting/assembly place and radio control room storing maps/radios etc with facilities to organise and deploy the team efficiently
  • Emergency accommodation for team members during prolonged callouts e.g. resilience work, prolonged searches - reducing individual team member travel time and driving risk in poor weather.
  • Meeting room for monthly team meetings, sub group meetings, presentations and demonstrations to community groups
  • Room can double as training accommodation for team and community training such as CPR/first aid/youth group
  • Ability to involve supporters/ex team members in supporting the team by helping to maintain the base, hosting fund raising and awareness raising activities.

Latest News

30/7/19 Southern Upland Moorland Group donate £4000 from Charity Clay Pigeon Shoot

31/1/19: Change of Use Application for Planning Permission submitted.

9/10/18 Press release in Southern Reporter 

23/11/18 Duns Co-op Community Fund raised £5614.08 towards our new base

27/3/19 Planning Application Approved.

30/4/19 Grant of £20,000 awarded by the Robertson Trust

18/10/19 Chosen by Jedburgh Co-op Community Fund to benefit from the next round of fund raising.

24/1/2020 Garfield Weston pledge £20,000 towards the base

29/2/2020 Team has managed to add a further £10,000 towards the total from donations and fund raising activity

10/3/2020 Stafford Trust pledge £5000

 30/4/2021 Plot of land at Pinnaclehill Industrial Estate purchase finalised. 


Site identified at Kelso's Pinnaclehill Estate.

Furniture for the new base gathered from SBC School Closures and stored in donated Ladybird Storage Unit in MacMerry, East Lothian 

Grant from SBC Localities bid fund of £35,000 secured to help fund the base (cannot be released until the project commences!)

Generous Legacy donation from a lady in Edinburgh of £60,000 significantly boosts our fund.

Offer Submitted subject to Change of Use Permission being granted.

Planning Application has been approved - now working on submitting the Building Warrant.

Plot of land has been purchased, and Building Warrant issued for first stage of the build. Contractor costings are being evaluated.

Make a donation:

You can donate instantly using the 'Donate Now' button below.  If you are a fundraiser and want to set up a fundraising page for BSARU, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page and we can arrange for a page to be set up for you.  You can use your credit or debit card through our secure donation platform at CAF Donate.



If you would like to make a donation by cheque to support the Border Search and Rescue Unit please send it to Secretary BSARU, Langskail, Broadgait, Gullane, East Lothian, EH31 2DH

Cheques should be made payable to the 'Border Search and Rescue Unit'

If you are a UK tax payer you may be entitled to 'gift aid' your donation which means that we can claim an extra 28p from the Government for every £1 of your donation. So if you 'gift aid' your a donation of £20 it would actually be worth £25.60 to us and at no extra cost to you!  To 'gift aid' your donation complete the form below and send it along with you donation.


New Base Plans

New Base Plans


Our Supporters

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Contact Us

Write To: BSARU Secretary, Langskail, Broadgait, Gullane, EH31 2DH