Tourism boost for Selkirk as travellers move on

Booming Selkirk town centre is preparing for a tourism boost this summer as travelling families in Victoria Park finally move on.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 5:01 pm
Travellers are due to move out of this site in Selkirk's Victoria Park by the end of June.
Travellers are due to move out of this site in Selkirk's Victoria Park by the end of June.

Travellers have been based in the park since the first lockdown, when families were decanted there because of a lack of space at a site in Innerleithen.

Now Scottish Borders Council, which manages the park on behalf of the Common Good, has reached an agreement with the travelling families who will vacate the park at the end of June.

At that point it is anticipated that tourists in camper vans and caravans who had previously set up there will return and help boost what is already a buoyant town centre.

Alistair Pattullo, chair of Selkirk Community Council, believes it will provide a positive impact for town retailers in particular.

He said: “Once we get the park back we can start opening it up to campers and caravaners, that’s the plan. We’re looking forward to getting the caravan site up and running again and getting visitors back to the town.

“The swimming pool was closed during the pandemic and it’s not as if anyone could have used the site during that period but when things started to open up, and the travellers were still there, what happened was that campers and caravaners avoided the site to go elsewhere and we’re not attracting the regular visitors and tourists we would hope to attract.

“Now once we get to the end of June hopefully we can attract visitors again. It’s been a huge loss to the town because there is not a large amount of accommodation available in the town.

“The town is great, there’s hardly an empty shop. After lockdown all of a sudden all these new businesses started opening up, independent businesses. There’s barely a chain retailer in Selkirk, apart from the Co-op, and these people need all the help they can get and it doesn’t help when you reduce the number of visitors to the town.”