Plans to create world-class long-distance River Tweed route receive nearly £300,000

Aerial view of the Scottish Border with Norham Castle standing guard. Picture: Jim GibsonAerial view of the Scottish Border with Norham Castle standing guard. Picture: Jim Gibson
Aerial view of the Scottish Border with Norham Castle standing guard. Picture: Jim Gibson
An ambitious plan to create a world-class long-distance route based around the River Tweed have received a £299,000 development grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Destination Tweed project, which will cost an estimated £20million, is being developed by Tweed Forum in collaboration with Scottish Borders Council and other partners and aims to create a 100-mile shared use trail from the source of the Tweed near Moffat to Berwick where the river meets the sea.

The Tweed trail will become a jewel in the region’s tourism crown and deliver multiple economic, environmental and community benefits at a time when many of the area’s traditional industries such as agriculture, salmon fishing and textiles are in decline.

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Tweed Forum director, Luke Comins said: “The Destination Tweed project is set to be hugely important for the area, both in terms of developing new economic opportunities to replace those currently in decline through the creation of a world-class long-distance route, but also in terms of education, culture, environmental protection and conservation.

“We’re hugely grateful for this National Lottery Heritage Fund award which allows us to take our plans to the next stage and prepare to deliver one of the region’s most significant cultural and environmental projects.”

The River Tweed is Special Area of Conservation famed for its salmon fishing, great houses and castles, literary connections and wonderful natural environment, but is little known at a national level.

As well as unleashing its tourism potential, the new trail will provide a focal point for a wide range of conservation and enhancement projects and allow the creation of ambitious activity programmes to deliver woodland, river and designed landspace restoration, cultural activities and archaeological site interpretation.

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The project will also educate people of all ages about the importance of the river to the region and how it is managed.

Funding of £11million has already been committed to the project from The Borderlands Partnership and Scottish Borders Council’s executive committee is expected to decide later this week on the allocation of a further £175,000.

The lottery grant will allow the development of the detailed plans and costings that it is hoped will unlock additional funding opportunities and enable the project to progress.