Cycling tourism given boost in Scottish Borders

The Scottish Borders Council has approved an ambitious five year strategy for further developing and expanding cycle tourism in the area.

Recognised as having some of the best forest rails in the country, the region hosts events such as TweedLove, the Tour o' the Borders and the Enduro World Series, as well as the Tour of Britain.

The five-year strategy is being put in place to ensure that the region is recognised as one of the UK's premier cycling destinations, with £50,000 made available to help promote it as a host for new international and national competitions.

Additionally, a dedicated marketing campaign will increase awareness of the Borders as a cycling tourism destination by tackling the ‘under promoted’ state of its marketing at present.

Perhaps most importantly though is the reports intention to improve existing infrastructure, including better signage and upgraded routes. The Borders currently offers a range of popular routes, including the 250-mile long Borderloop, a 55-mile route linking four abbeys, the 95 mile long Tweed Cycle Route, the Coast and Castles Route through Berwickshire - as well as a range of shorter trails as well as world-class mountain biking with the 7stanes at Glentress, Innerleithen and Newcastleton.

Councillor Stuart Bell, executive member for Economic Development, said: “For a number of years the Council has supported the cycling sector to grow, including through our support for locally-organised events and by bringing events such as the Tour of Britain to the Borders.

“These have proved hugely successful, and in addition to some world-class mountain biking trails like the 7stanes, there have been positive developments in relation to our leisure cycling offer, such as the development of new and improved paths, including the route between Innerleithen and Peebles.

“As set out in this strategy, there is even more that can be done to make the area one of the leading cycle tourism destinations in the country, and that requires both further investment and support. It encompasses event development, infrastructure and marketing to maximise cycling events and tourism opportunities, which will result in an increased economic benefit to the Scottish Borders.”