Chance to have your say on bid to boost bike tourism in Borders

Cyclists near Walkerburn.
Cyclists near Walkerburn.
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Have your say

Council chiefs are appealing for ideas on how best to promote the Borders as a destination for cycling trips.

Scottish Borders Council has put together a draft cycle tourism strategy, and it is now calling on all interested parties to have their say on it before a finalised version is agreed on.

The strategy’s aim is to set out an approach for encouraging cycle-based tourism over the next five years in the hope of boosting takings for hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, bike shops and other businesses.

VisitScotland estimates cycling trips to be worth more than £200m a year to the national economy, and tourism bosses in the region are hoping to claim a bigger share of that expenditure by promoting the 250-mile Borderloop cycle route and the many other shorter trails to be found here.

Anyone wishing to comment on the draft strategy can visit www.scotborders.gov.uk/cycletourismstrategy and air their views until Friday, September 16.

A workshop will also be held on Tuesday, August 23, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at Ettrick Riverside in Selkirk to give anyone interested the chance to discuss some of the key issues raised in the draft document.

Booking is required. For details, email neen.kelly@scotborders.gov.uk

A drop-in session is also being held at Eyemouth Hippodrome on Tuesday, August 30, from 2pm to 4pm to offer a further chance to express opinions.

Tweeddale East councillor Stuart Bell, the council’s executive member for economic development, said: “The Borders has a long-established and substantial leisure cycling industry, alongside its well-known mountain-biking facilities.

“As a result, it has been agreed that the council take forward a strategy for cycle tourism in the region.

“Working alongside tourism businesses, communities, interested groups and cyclists, the aim is to see the Borders become a world-class bike destination by 2021, so it is vital that stakeholders in cycling in the Borders give us their views through this consultation exercise.”