Talks under way to pick home for Borders tourism hub

Lord Thurso at Eddleston, near Peebles, during his recent visit to the Borders.
Lord Thurso at Eddleston, near Peebles, during his recent visit to the Borders.

A six-month consultation has been launched to decide the location of a new tourism hub in the Borders.

VisitScotland now runs just three tourist information centres across the region – in Jedburgh, Peebles and Hawick – following the closure of Melrose and Kelso’s as part of a nationwide restructuring.

Central to the new approach is the creation of a regional hub, and its location is to be decided in the next few months.

This week, members of Scottish Borders Council’s executive committee were told told that a report will be brought before them on the best location for the new venue in the first half of next year.

The report added: “Officers will work with VisitScotland over the next three to six months to identify options for the new regional hub.

“The location will be decided by VisitScotland, stakeholders and industry.

“A further report will be presented to committee in 2018 providing recommendations on the best location and format for the hub.”

Tourism is a key sector in the Borders, adding £204m annually to its economy, supporting about 4,000 jobs and attracting around 1.85 million visitors in 2016.

VisitScotland chairman Lord John Thurso, speaking during a visit to the region, said: “From history and heritage to outdoor pursuits, there really is something for everyone in the Scottish Borders.

“Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment and innovation to ensure the current provision meets future demand.

“By working closely with our local communities and businesses, we can showcase the rich assets, hidden gems and local stories of every region in Scotland to develop and deliver innovative initiatives that grow the visitor economy.”