Study to explore private sector tourism development opportunities in Tweed Valley

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As part of a follow up to a Scotland wide investigation by Scottish Development International, Forestry Commission Scotland is to explore the potential for private sector tourism development around Glentress Forest and the Tweed Valley.

With visitor figures to Glentress reaching over 350,000 a year, and 985,000 to the Tweed Valley Forest Park, the Commission is keen to ensure the area remains a top tourist attraction and that any development is taken forward in a sensitive manner.

A feasibility study will explore the viability of attracting private sector investment in a new sustainable leisure and accommodation development on the national forest estate. 

Alan Stevenson, Forestry Commission Scotland’s Head of Communities, Recreation and Tourism said:

“The Commission recognises that Glentress and the Tweed Valley have distinct qualities that make it very popular to visitors.  We want to continue to build on this and determine how best to proceed in a manner which is in sympathy with the forest environment and local needs.

“Work is well underway with the new Peel development and that is scheduled to be completed early in 2011.  As part of a wider approach to supporting tourism, we are undertaking this new feasibility study to take an initial exploration into whether there is scope for further development in the area.

“The study will look into current and future local trends in tourism, demands for property, infrastructure in the area and whether or not a new commercial leisure tourist development is a viable option."

The feasibility study has two parts to it with one section looking at Glentress and the Tweed Valley and the other exploring development opportunities at Leanachan Forest near Fort William. 

Forestry Commission Scotland is leading on the feasibility study with support from Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Consultants GL Hearn have been appointed to carry out the study with the findings being published later in Spring 2010.

Notes to news editors

1. Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate

2. Scottish Development International is the Scottish Government’s inward investment agency as well as being responsible for helping Scottish companies grow internationally.

3.   Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508.