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Tweed Valley Businesses Vote to Create Scotland’s Second-Only ‘Tourism Improvement District’

Tweed Valley businesses have voted overwhelmingly to create ‘Go Tweed Valley’, Scotland’s second-only tourism-based business improvement district, in an exciting development for the Scottish borders.

The result of the ballot has been welcomed by Scottish Borders Council and Scotland’s Improvement Districts, the national agency which supports business improvement districts (BIDs) across Scotland.

Announced 15th November, the result showed that over 80% of voting businesses supported the initiative, representing over 72% of rateable value. This will allow a levy to be taken from eligible businesses over a five-year period to fund investments to improve the area’s tourism product.

Go Tweed Valley, the new vehicle for this activity, has identified five priorities in its business plan, including marketing and promotion, tourism infrastructure, events and festivals, and business support and advocacy.

The organisation joins Visit Inverness Loch Ness as Scotland’s second-only tourism improvement district, aligning businesses and activities along a sectoral basis as well as a geographic area.

There are almost forty improvement districts in operation throughout Scotland’s towns and city neighbourhoods. These provide a mechanism for local businesses to work together with other public and private sector partners to improve local economies and communities.

Phil Prentice, National Programme Director of Scotland’s Improvement Districts, said:

“It’s great to see the establishment of Go Tweed Valley as another tourism-themed improvement district in Scotland. This shows the flexibility of the business improvement district model, which as well as focusing on town centres or city neighbourhoods, can be sectoral and span a wide geography”.

“The Tweed Valley is full of hidden gems – from historic towns and world class spas through to mountain biking trails and beautiful scenery. The Go Tweed Valley team has worked hard to build this collaborative vehicle for the area and we wish them every success in their plans”.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, said:

“I am delighted at the result of the BID vote, which demonstrates a huge commitment from tourism and hospitality businesses in the Tweed Valley to work together and make a great destination exceptional.

“The BID will not only bring together funding through the levy but is also likely to enable to bring in funding from additional sources too.

“The Tweed Valley BID is ambitious and will have an extremely positive impact on the area, enhancing and expanding the existing tourism offering and the vibrancy of an area that already punches well above its weight in attracting national and international events and visitors to the Scottish Borders.”

Go Tweed Valley Steering Group said in a statement:

“We are so pleased that businesses voted overwhelmingly to establish the Tweed Valley Tourism Business Improvement District (BID) in the ballot result announced on 15 November. It’s a big moment for the area”.

“Following the successful ballot, the project steering group will now establish and register a Tourism BID company as a not-for-profit limited company, with the primary responsibility of delivering the projects outlined in the approved business plan. The Tourism BID will operate from 1 April 2020”.

“We have some preparatory work to do ahead of the start of the Tourism BID in April, but we intend to hit the ground running and fully deliver on this exciting project. We can’t wait to get started”.

Image source: Go Tweed Valley, https://www.gotweedvalley.co.uk/.

See Go Tweed Valley website for the steering group’s full statement.

Notes

For media enquiries: Ewan Robertson; 07469 967 230 / ewan@improvementdistricts.scot

For more information about Go Tweed Valley: https://www.gotweedvalley.co.uk/about-bid

Scotland’s Improvement Districts is the national agency which supports the development and continued success of Improvement Districts across Scotland. Read more: http://www.lisad71.sg-host.com/about-sids/