Funding secured for bid to create Tweed Valley business improvement district

Catherine Maxwell Stuart.
Catherine Maxwell Stuart.

A bid to create a tourism-based business improvement district (BID) project in the Tweed Valley has taken a step forward.

The Tweed Valley Tourist Consortium’s application for initial seed-corn funding from the Scottish Government has been given the thumbs-up, enabling it to press ahead with its proposal to set up a BID.

Scottish Borders Council has also offered matched funding for this development phase of the project.

“This initial funding means that we can now really get started on the project,” said Catherine Maxwell Stuart, chairperson of the BID team.

“When we applied for funding in the summer, we saw excellent support from local tourism businesses, all of whom recognise this as a means of securing a consistent level of funding to resource a targeted and effective tourism business plan for the Tweed Valley.”

Vice-chairperson Neil Dalgleish added: “It’s an exciting prospect. We have an opportunity to do something bold, innovative and unique here which could dramatically transform the tourism offer and industry in the Tweed Valley.”

“This project could help take the Tweed Valley to a totally new level of visibility and success.”

If approved, the plans would enable the council to collect a compulsory levy to invest in the district.

The BID steering group will now spend the rest of this year planning the development phase, including bringing on board a project manager to begin work early in 2018 on developing a business plan.

The Tweed Valley has seen significant growth in tourism over the past 15 years, with the rise of mountain biking and other cycling playing a crucial role in attracting more visitors.