Plans for £11.3m tourism Glentress masterplan unveiled

Plans for an 11.3 million tourism development in the Scottish Borders has been unveiled.

Glentress Forest could become even more popular with bikers and tourists if plans for development are accepted. Picture: David Cheskin/Glasgow 2014 Ltd via Getty Images

Applications for 56 cabins and 16 kilometres of new trails in Glentress were submitted to the local council last week.

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Glentress Forest is a mountain biking “Mecca” in the heart of the Tweed Valley near Peebles, possessing a number of graded trails for all levels of biking ability and a free-rise area.

The eco-cabin development will be built around these at Buzzard’s nest, blending in to the forest’s surroundings so that they are not incongruous.

The £11.3 million proposals is a partnership between both Forest Enterprise Scotland and Forest Holidays. The latter will be providing £10 million through the private sector, with the former making up the extra £1.3 million.

“We are committed to working closely with the community surrounding Glentress,” Bruce McKendrick, chief executive officer of Forest Holidays, told Peeblesshire News.

“Our guests delight in discovering new experiences and the Tweed Valley has a wealth of dramatic scenery, incredible adventures and authentic local attractions for visitors to enjoy.

“We are proud to already contribute to the rural economy in Scotland through our two existing locations at Strathyre and Ardgartan Argyll, by supporting local businesses and helping to create a vibrant tourist economy 365 days a year.

“Together with our Forest Enterprise Scotland partner we are confident that the Glentress Masterplan will bring many more opportunities to the area.”

As well as the cabins the plans include new recreational facilites and new biking trails, all part of the Glentress Masterpla, located around the Glentress Peel development at Castle Hill.

Sallie Bailey, forest district manager for Forest Enterprise Scotland added: “Forest tourism in the Borders is certainly in the spotlight.

“The recent forest tourism summit was an important first step in bringing public and private tourism interests together to seek new opportunities to grow this sector.

“Forest Enterprise Scotland is contributing to this on a number of fronts. The cabins and new trail proposals would be another great asset for the Tweed Valley and south of Scotland.”

The two planning applications are likely to be decided in the spring.