Bus shelter company Clear Channel has announced that it is quitting Berwick when its current contract ends next year.
The firm, previously known as Adshel, will relinquish responsibility for eight bus shelters on the main bus route through the town in February.
Paul Richardson, development manager at Clear Channel, told Berwick Town Council: “Having considered our sales requirements, the economic climate and our operating costs, we have decided that we wish to terminate the contract.”
The company, which has worked in Berwick for 14 years, now needs to make arrangements for the shelters in situ.
It will consider handing the shelters over to Berwick Town Council - minus the electrical equipment from inside the advertising units and all Clear Channel logos.
The power supplies to the shelters could be retained.
Mr Richardson added: “I hope the town council will understand the reason for our decision to terminate the contract and trust the proposal to at least allow the structures to remain in situ will mitigate some of the problems that would result from a complete withdrawal.”
The council’s environment and regeneration committee has expressed interest in taking on the shelters and agreed to go out to tender for a maintenance and cleaning contract.
It will also investigate whether it could look at advertising opportunities.
Councillor Phil Elliott said: “If we can get advertising it would offset the costs of maintenance. I’m sure the likes of McDonalds and Morrisons, which currently advertise on the shelters, would be interested.”
Councillor Alex Gibson added: “I think we’ve got to take the shelters on. Imagine the problems it would cause if we didn’t.”
There are four Clear Channel shelters on North Road, two on Northumberland Road, another on Prince Edward Road and one next to McDonalds restaurant.
The town council already has responsibility for non-Clear Channel shelters. These are maintained, cleaned and repaired under a service level agreement with Northumberland County Council.
Meanwhile, town clerk Sue Finch revealed that plans are coming together for a new bus shelter outside Asda in Tweedmouth. Almost £5,000 has been secured for the bus stop opposite the fish and chip shop on Main Street.