National Lottery boost for multi-million-pound project with Berwick link

A unique source-to-sea restoration and revitalisation initiative centred around the River Tweed has taken a “major step forward” as it has been awarded a grant of £2.98million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

By Andrew Coulson
Monday, 4th July 2022, 10:44 am

Destination Tweed is led by Tweed Forum and developed in collaboration with Scottish Borders Council, landowners and other partners. They are targeting an overall investment in the project area of £23million.

Its main scheme is the creation of a 113-mile trail running from Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway, past the source of the Tweed nearby and onto Berwick – where the river meets the sea.

The project also includes a wide range of cultural, river and landscape enhancement projects to deliver significant economic, environmental, educational and social benefits to a region where traditional industries such as agriculture, salmon fishing and textiles, the organisations say, are increasingly fragile.

Destination Tweed says the 113-mile trail would run all the way to Berwick, where the river meets the sea. Picture by Jim Gibson.

Destination Tweed will use the rich assets of the River Tweed to harness the area’s tourism potential and deliver woodland, river and designed landscape restoration and cultural activities, and archaeological site investigation and innovative interpretation.

It will provide education opportunities for people of all ages to learn about the importance of the river to the region and how it is managed, as well as community grants and economic development opportunities for local businesses.

Tweed Forum director Luke Comins said: “Destination Tweed will deliver a unique, quality-focused tourism experience that conserves, connects and promotes attractions and communities in and around the entire length of the river – from Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway, through the Scottish Borders and into north Northumberland.

“It’s an ambitious project that will respect and showcase the Tweed’s rich natural, built and cultural assets, and which has the potential to bring huge economic, cultural, environmental and social benefits to the area.

“We’re extremely grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for this significant grant award.”

Destination Tweed will be delivered in stages and once full funding is confirmed, Tweed Forum expects the project will take five years to complete.

The initiative’s other partners include Northumberland County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Borders Forest Trust.

The organisations working towards a major allocation of funding from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, which has been established to unlock the potential for sustainable and inclusive economic growth across the south of Scotland and north of England.

Discussions with South of Scotland Enterprise are also underway.

Coun Euan Jardine, leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: “We are very excited by this announcement as it represents a major step forward for the Destination Tweed project.

“We believe that this significant project, which makes the most of the River Tweed as a national tourism asset, will be completely transformational for our area.

“The funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund is extremely welcome and I would like to thank Tweed Forum for leading this project in collaboration with key strategic partners such as Scottish Borders Council.”

Tweed Forum is a charitable trust and umbrella organisation whose remit is to promote the sustainable use of the Tweed and protect and enhance the natural, built and cultural heritage of the region.