Tweedlove cycling boss says Peebles-based business will "go down" unless it can rearrange events for later in the year

In response to the global Covid-19 outbreak, Tweedlove cycling event organiser Hillside Outside has announced a huge rescheduling of its 2020 events calendar.

Thursday, 19th March 2020, 10:12 am
Tweedlove - Riders photographed in Peebles

Many of the Peebles-based team’s biggest events, including this weekend’s sell-out MTB enduro race Vallelujah — which is also round one of the British National Enduro Series — will now be held later this year.

Other events affected include the TweedLove Bike Festival weekend, the Bosch E-MTB Challenge, the Glentress Seven endurance race, the Gritopia off-road adventure, the Skinny Tweed road sportive, the TweedLove Family Day, and more.

The company, which recently announced economic impact generated by their events having reached over £10m for the Borders, has been thrown into uncertainty by the spread of the virus.

“It’s a desperate situation, that seems to have escalated almost overnight, so we’ve had to respond fast,” said the company’s director Neil Dalgleish.

“Many of our biggest events are already affected and if we lose those, the whole business might go down.

"I’ve spent 10 years building both a great team and an events calendar in the Tweed Valley – I don’t want to lose it all. So we’re taking immediate action to try and survive.”

The events industry has seen a scramble for calendar spots, as event organisers have been trying to re-schedule all their events into a short period later in the year when it’s hoped the worst of the virus and restrictions will be over.

Neil added: “We’ve acted quickly, but the losses will still be significant and of course we’re working on ideas to avoid redundancies.

“The insurance companies are unlikely to give any help in these particular circumstances – the events industry is truly in a crisis.

“The impact on businesses like ours surely needs to be recognised – small tourism and cycling-related businesses form such an important part of our local society and community, it would be tragic to see any of them disappear. Almost all of us survive on such small profit margins, everyone’s feeling vulnerable and extremely nervous.

“I’d like to thank everyone for the messages of support, and it’s great to see that riders from around the UK also want to support our area and our local businesses.

“There are a lot of people coming here this weekend, despite the big race being postponed, but I’m sure everyone knows to take it easy and not put any extra strain on the NHS or emergency services.

“We’re all going to have to get to a new way of life for a while.”