Reprieve for Jedburgh tourist information centre welcomed

Jedburgh's VisitScotland tourist information centre.
Jedburgh's VisitScotland tourist information centre.

The news that Jedburgh’s tourist information centre has been spared the axe has been welcomed in the town and by its MP.

It will be the only VisitScotland iCentre left in the region following the closure of its counterpart in Peebles High Street in February next year and the handover of its opposite number in Hawick to leisure trust Live Borders eight months later.

Kelso’s town hall iCentre, one of 40 being scrapped nationwide by VisitScotland, has already shut.

Jedburgh’s iCentre’s future has been secured by its being named as the regional hub for the 70-plus tourist information points across the Borders.

The Murray’s Green office, next to the town’s abbey, is one of 26 such hubs being created nationwide and is now in line for extra investment, including having £6,000 spent on new signage.

The news that Jedburgh’s tourist information centre has been saved has been welcomed in the town and by Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP John Lamont.

Jedburgh Community Council chairman Rory Stewart said: “We are absolutely delighted that VisitScotland has decided that the most important location for its premises in the Borders is in Jedburgh.

“We have been banging the drum for many years about how Jedburgh is the gateway not only to the Scottish Borders but to all things Scotland, and it now seems as if VisitScotland recognises the importance of our gateway town.

“It is now important that we engage with VisitScotland as a community, along with the many community organisations that support our town, and move the service forward and entice even more visitors to use Jedburgh as their base and take advantage of everything it has to offer as that’s something the whole of the Borders will benefit from.

“Increased investment is always welcome in whatever guise that may be, so we are extremely happy with the decisions that have been taken.

“We now need Scottish Borders Council to commit to further investment in the royal burgh so we can reap the benefits that would bring.”

Mr Lamont added: “People are accessing information differently these days and so it’s quite right that VisitScotland are looking to modernise their information provision.

“However, it was hugely disappointing to hear last year that centres across the Borders were set to close.

“While it is good for Jedburgh to be retaining a centre, having a physical presence and someone with local knowledge to speak to directly is worthwhile across the Borders and adds to visitors’ experience.

“I remain to be convinced that the approach taken by VisitScotland will enhance tourism in the area. We need to be doing more, not less, to promote the Borders as the fantastic destination it is.”