‘Masterplan’ views sought for Glentress

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Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) has announced it needs a masterplan to develop Glentress.

FCS opened the £8.5million visitor centre, shop, cafe and car park at the mountain biking mecca in the Tweed Valley in 2011.

Now, says FCS’s communities and recreation manager Hugh McKay, a strategy is needed to prevent any piecemeal development as companies clamour to be involved.

“Every month we are approached by businesses eager to talk to us about future development potential, but we do not want to do this in a piecemeal way,” he said.

“This is where the new Glentress masterplan comes in as it will take a very thorough look at the bigger picture that could be offered.”

Initial work on the plan has started, but a key component will be listening to the views of the local community, businesses and forest users to find out their ideas for the future.

Hugh said: “We’ve worked very hard to build in better income streams at Glentress. We are moving towards a more self-supporting status where we break even, but we still have a long way to go.”

He said it had been “a busy but good first year” for the award-winning Glentress Peel, with more than 301,000 visits.

Workshops for key stakeholders are scheduled early next month, with open days for the public on May 24-25 at Glentress Peel.