Tourism’s £105 million boost

Rosslyn Chapel. PIC BY ROB MCDOUGALL
Rosslyn Chapel. PIC BY ROB MCDOUGALL

Tourism chiefs in Midlothian have hailed news that visitors brought £105 million to the area last year.

New figures revealed at a full council meeting last week showed that tourist spending was up by more than a quarter and growing.

Money generated by visitors in Midlothian has increased by 25.9 per cent since 2009.

Councillor Jim Bryant, the member for tourism, said: “From the historic Rosslyn Chapel to the beauty of the Pentlands, Midlothian is a fantastic tourist destination, especially with four new Borders Railway stations in the county bringing journey times down to around half an hour into the capital or the Borders. Working in partnership with Midlothian Tourism Forum and VisitScotland, we are committed to fully supporting this key industry locally.

“Hearing that visitor spend was up by just short of 26 per cent from 2009, cements the need to capitalise on the projects outlined in our new Midlothian Tourism Action Plan, which we launched earlier this year.”

Since the Midlothian Tourism Action Plan 2016-20 was launched, it has enjoyed successes in attracting funding for projects based around, for example, outdoors and nature, built and local heritage, food and drink, events and cycling.

Working with Scottish Borders Area Tourism, Midlothian Tourism Forum has secured a £200,000 Scottish Enterprise grant. This will see match funding of £150,000 from the Borders Railway Blueprint Fund.

Ian Gardner, chairman of the Midlothian Tourism Forum, said: “This report underlines the huge importance of the industry in this area. However, there is still room for improvement and through the new Midlothian Tourism Action Plan, the Midlothian Tourism Forum will be working with Midlothian Council and VisitScotland to encourage more people to visit Midlothian.”