Businesses to see benefit of ‘biking heaven’ tag

Photograph by Ian Georgeson,  British Downhill Series, Innerleithen
Photograph by Ian Georgeson, British Downhill Series, Innerleithen

The promotion of the 7Stanes mountain biking locations as ‘Scotland’s Biking Heaven’ is set to provide a boost to local businesses.

Almost £100,000 in total will be ploughed into the marketing campaign after VisitScotland provided a cash boost of £33,000 to the budget.

Paula McDonald, regional director of VisitScotland

Paula McDonald, regional director of VisitScotland

The promotional activities have already started, and include a digital campaign for the 7Stanes, which includes trails at Glentress, Innerleithen and Newcastleton, and a press visit for Sweden’s top cycling magazine.

The move has been backed by a number of local businesses and groups, including the Newcastleton Business Forum (NBF) and Tweed Valley Tourism Consortium.

Barbara Elborn from NBF said: “From work I have undertaken recently, Newcastleton 7Stanes has contributed £110,000 to the local economy without any marketing, based on visitor numbers recorded over recent years. So, I would anticipate an increase in that with marketing.”

Mrs Elborn added that since the promotional drive earlier this summer she had noticed a ‘significant increase’ in the number of people going up to the local trails.

She added: “The marketing could be hugely impactful, but it is too early to tell how it will convert into revenue for the village.

“The business forum has also been working really hard to promote cycling and Newcastleton as a ‘bike friendly village’.”

The new marketing campaign is targeting the UK market, as well as further afield, including Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands. It is particularly looking at increasing the number of families and beginners visiting.

Paula McDonald, regional director for VisitScotland, said: “The location of the 7Stanes trails has cemented Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders as Europe’s premier mountain-biking destination, and we want to actively encourage more families, groups and individuals to experience the quality of what is on offer.

“The trails are world-class, the scenery is breathtaking and the accommodation, visitor attractions and restaurants suit a range of budgets.”