Borders shooting centre has longer opening hours in its sights

Bisley Shooting Group bosses Alex and Anthony Roupell at the Midlem complex.
Bisley Shooting Group bosses Alex and Anthony Roupell at the Midlem complex.

Scotland’s largest clay shooting complex, to be found in the Borders at Midlem, is aiming to extend its Sunday opening hours to help it cope with demand.

Bisley at Braidwood is home to the country’s first 100m floor bore indoor rifle range and also offers a country retail store, cafe and skeet range.

The popularity of clay pigeon shooting has grown steadily in recent years, and demand for places at Bisley is proving high from both tourists and locals, particularly at weekends.

As a result of that booming trade, extra time is needed both for staging international competitions held at weekends and catering for local demand.

The centre is currently open six days a week, from 10am to 7pm Tuesday to Saturday but its Sunday opening hours are restricted to 10am to 4pm.

An application has now been submitted to Scottish Borders Council to bring its opening hours on Sunday in line with the rest of the week, however.

A spokesperson for Bisley at Braidwood said: “As the largest sporting clay ground in Scotland, we are getting more and more shooters from all over Scotland, as well as attracting tourists from England.

“Our facilities of air rifle, full-bore indoor rifle, sporting clays and shooting simulator, with excellent kitchen and dining facilities, make it a destination venue attracting many to the Borders.

“National and international shoots held at weekends and heavy local demand would benefit greatly from normal trading hours.”

The council’s environmental services section has already been consulted over the proposed change to the site’s opening times.

It has recommended that an increase in Sunday opening hours is allowed for a trial period of six to nine months.

A council environmental services spokesperson said: “At the end of the trial period, a decision can be made to either allow the continuation of the extended hours or revert back to the shorter Sunday hours.”

That recommendation has yet to be endorsed, or rejected, by the council’s planning department.