Peebles to walk the walk?

Walking festival 2014
Walking festival 2014

Councillors are expected to back plans today, Thursday, for Peebles to host the Scottish Borders Walking Festival in 2017.

The town last held the event in 2010, and is being recommended for 2017 ahead of four other community council bids.

Eyemouth, Hawick, Coldstream, and Floors, Makerstoun, Nenthorn and Smailholm, local councils all registered their interest in holding the festival.

Galashiels Community Council also said it would be happy to hold the event in 2017.

But it has been given the 2015 festival as it was the only one to express an interest in holding the event that year.

In a report for the committee to consider, Keith Robeson, senior countryside ranger, states: “All community councils were invited to tender an interest in hosting the 2015-2017 events and expressions of interest were received from six.

“In order to bid for Scottish Natural Heritage funding it is beneficial to determine the festival locations for the next three years.

“Criteria which need to be taken into consideration when determining the venue include the location of the most recent festivals, bed night provision within the community, how recently and how often the community has hosted the event.”

Mr Robeson added: “In view of the level of interest shown for the 2016 and 2017 festivals it is considered appropriate in this instance that members decide the venues on this occasion.”

Although Floors, Makerstoun, Nenthorn and Smailholm Community Council has not hosted the event before, it was marked down due to the lack of accommodation available, although it was noted that good provision is available in nearby Kelso.

Coldstream, which has also never hosted the walking festival, is expected to be confirmed as the host for 2016, with Peebles taking on the event the following year.

The walking festival is held during the first week of September.

And since 1995 it has moved around communities on an annual basis.