Borders Railway tourism boost for Midlothian

The Midlothian and Borders Tourism Action Group (MBTAG).
The Midlothian and Borders Tourism Action Group (MBTAG).

An action group set up to develop the tourism industry in Midlothian and the Borders has secured a £300,000 funding boost to continue benefitting businesses in both areas.

Established in January 2017, the Midlothian and Borders Tourism Action Group (MBTAG) has been awarded £150,000 of Borders Railway Blueprint money and £150,000 from Tyne & Esk LEADER. The money will be used to implement Phase II of its project to capitalise on the benefits of the Borders Railway along the corridor and for tourism businesses region wide.

MBTAG project manager Jemma Reid said: “The funding for Phase II is fantastic news and will allow us to build on the success of the first two years. There’s a lot still to be achieved. The 2017 International Passenger Survey identifies that Midlothian and the Borders achieves the lowest number of international tourists of any of Scotland’s regions. In comparison, Edinburgh has the greatest number. The commercial opportunity is therefore to attract more domestic and international visitors to the region encouraging them to visit by rail and encourage them to spend longer and spend more time in the area.”

The new LEADER funding will deliver traditional and digital destination marketing activities for a 21-month period for the Midlothian and Scottish Borders regions.

The Blueprint money will help MBTAG do more to increase the number of both domestic and international visitors’ overnight stays in Midlothian and the Borders by working with the travel trade and supporting businesses to help them understand international and develop products and experiences which would be of appeal.