South Scotland

Tweed Valley 'world-class destination' bid secures support

River Tweed Image copyright Tweed Valley Tourist Consortium
Image caption Dozens of businesses will be asked to vote on the proposals in November

A bid to make the Tweed Valley a "world-class activity destination" has been backed by councillors.

The move could generate hundreds of thousands of pounds to help boost visitor numbers in the area.

Business Improvement District (BID) funds would be used to help develop and improve its tourism offer.

Scottish Borders Council has given its support to the plans which will now be the subject of a business ballot in the area in November.

If they vote in favour it will allow the local authority to collect regular payments from businesses within the BID area.

Image copyright Tweed Valley Tourist Consortium
Image caption The BID could raise about £350,000 over five years

It would then be used to enhance the area's reputation as a centre for cycling, walking and other outdoor sports.

The key aims of the BID are:

  • to develop the Tweed Valley as a destination
  • to ensure long-term tourism sustainability
  • to increase visitor numbers and improve their experience
  • to create jobs
  • to encourage people to stay longer and spend more

It is hoped the initiative could raise about £350,000 over five years.

"Businesses should sign up for it because it is a great way of boosting tourism in the Tweed Valley," said the council's executive member for economic development Mark Rowley.

"There are a load of wonderful businesses and operators there and I was really pleased that the council supported the bid."

He said firms in the area involved - which runs from West Linton following the River Tweed as far as Selkirk - had done a lot of work on the project.

Image copyright Tweed Valley Tourist Consortium
Image caption The aim of the project is to boost the area's profile as an activity destination

Mr Rowley said the funding figures reflected the scale of the enterprises involved.

"I am sure it would be lovely to have a much bigger budget than that but we need to recognise that a lot of tourism businesses in the Tweed Valley are very small micro businesses," he said.

"They have maybe just got one or two employees, they are privately owned so I think the figures in the proposal are well balanced.

"They include contributions from the big hotels and the bigger players but they allow the smallest businesses to make a contribution too."

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