Selkirk going online in bid to attract more tourists

Poppy, Harry and Innes Davidson, and Bodie Herning launch the Explore Selkirk initiative.
Poppy, Harry and Innes Davidson, and Bodie Herning launch the Explore Selkirk initiative.

Business owners in Selkirk say the launch of a website aimed at bringing more tourists to the town is just the start of their ambitious plans.

The Explore Selkirk tourism initiative, includes that website and a marketing hashtag, is aimed at making the royal burgh a must-stop destination on the Scottish tourist trail.

It’s being led by the town’s business improvement district (BID) company, formed in 2018 after 55% of the town centre’s businesses voted in favour of becoming the region’s first group of its kind.

Its board of directors is now keen to build on the momentum created by the town’s £1m regeneration scheme upgrade and £500,000 facelift, completed last year.

Company chairman David Anderson, said: “Our website, www.exploreselkirk.co.uk, has given us good base to highlight the amazing variety we have in Selkirk, from its many cultural and historical connections right through to the breath-taking landscapes we have bordering the town, providing an embarrassment of riches for cycling, walking and riding routes.

“We’re calling on the local community to spread the word by promoting the message #exploreselkirk.

“This is just the start. We need to keep the momentum going.”

As part of the BID scheme, town centre businesses with a rateable value over £2,000 are being charged a levy to go into a pot to be used to attract visitors to the town.

That cash can also attract match funding from the likes of VisitScotland and the National Lottery.

Selkirkshire councillor and BID group member Caroline Penman added: “We are really grateful for the additional funding from Scottish Borders Council to support the website’s development.

“The website is the first opportunity for many shops and businesses to have an online presence, and we know the high-quality products and services the town can offer.

“Selkirk is unusual compared with many high streets, being able to claim many independent shops and cafes.

“We are delighted with the new website. However, this is just the start. There is lots more to do, and we’re pushing ahead with plans.”