South Scotland

Scottish Borders tourism spending and strategy outlined

Tour of Britain Image copyright Getty Images

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing has outlined action being taken to attract visitors to the Borders.

He was asked by Conservative MSP John Lamont what the Scottish government's strategy was for promoting and developing tourism in the region.

He cited £112,000 spent on Homecoming 2014 events and nearly £790,000 from EventScotland in the last three years.

Mr Ewing added that Abbotsford House, mountain biking and the Borders railway could also help attract more visitors.

He said that tourism had been identified as a "growth sector" and highlighted four events which were funded as part of Homecoming 2014.

  • Melrose Sevens - £20,000
  • Return to the Ridings - £37,000
  • Tweedlove Bike Festival - £35,000
  • Borders Book Festival - £20,000
Image copyright PA

He said VisitScotland listed more than 700 Borders businesses and operated information centres in Hawick, Melrose, Peebles, Jedburgh and Kelso with information points run in partnership in Eyemouth and Selkirk.

It had also supported a national campaign promoting Kelso Racecourse, the Jedburgh Events Forum and a mountain biking conference in Peebles.

In addition, he listed support given by EventScotland over the last thee years.

EventScotland funding for events in the Scottish Borders over past three years
Event Year Funding
Melrose Sevens 2011 £15,000
TweedLove Bike Week 2011 £12,500
Traquair Fair 2011 £5,637
Floors Massed Pipe Band Day 2011 £4,000
Doors Open Days* 2011 £13,500
Tour of Britain 2011 £100,000
Count Us In 2011 £8,630.99
Melrose Sevens 2012 £20,000
Traquair Shakespeare Festival 2012 £4,000
TweedLove Bike Festival 2012 £15,000
iXS Downhill Cup Innerleithen 2012 £9,900
Tour of Britain 2012 £105,000
Scottish Ploughing Championships 2012 £4,000
Melrose Sevens 2013 £20,000
Tour o' the Borders 2013 £8,000
TweedLove Bike Festival 2013 £15,000
Traquair Medieval Fayre 2013 £4,500
Jim Clark Rally 2013 £8,000
Dancing Dreams 2013 £10,000
Border Union Show 2013 £10,000
Traquair Fair 2013 £8,800
Tour of Britain 2013 £100,000
Scotland Sings* 2013 £6,000
Melrose Sevens 2014 £20,000
TweedLove Bike Festival 2014 £35,000
Return to the Ridings 2014 £37,000
Borders Book Festival 2014 £20,000
Haka Hawick 2014 £10,000
Generation* 2014 £150,000
Tour o' the Borders 2014 £10,000
Image copyright PA

Mr Ewing said Scottish Enterprise continued to work closely with partners to develop and promote tourism.

He said it had worked on the redevelopment of Abbotsford House and the establishment of the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland at Glentress.

He added that the Borders Railway, due to open in September next year, would bring "real opportunity for tourism and other economic development".

Mr Ewing said a feasibility study announced earlier this year would look at how the service might "transform the tourism potential of the region".

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