MSP Rachael Hamilton said she was “delighted” to visit “exciting” new paths and mountain bike trails being built in the Scottish Borders.

The Newcastleton and District Community Trust is developing new trails on community-owned land at Holm Hill with £284,000 from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

The local project aims to promote walking and cycling in the Newcastleton area by providing the infrastructure to create pathways and mountain bike trails.

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The UK Government funding will enable the Trust to progress the first phase of development.

Additionally, new forestry and design work will lay the foundations for further stages of phased development, which will increase tourism and promote economic growth for the Newcastleton area into the future.

Ms Hamilton said: “I was delighted to get on a bike with Newcastleton and District Community Trust to discover where the new mountain bike trails and paths will be built.

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“The work that Newcastleton and District Community Trust have been doing for the local area is incredible. They fully deserve this UK Government funding and I’m confident they are putting the money to good use.

“This exciting new project shows the benefits of the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund for the Borders. It will help boost tourism, support jobs and promote economic growth in the area.

“Cycling in the Borders is growing fast, with the UK Government also helping to fund projects across the area like the mountain bike innovation centre at Glentress.

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“Thank you to Barbara and Vicky for showing me Holm Hill and the amazing community development project that mountain bikers will soon be quickly cycling down.”

Barbara Elborn, secretary of Newcastleton and District Community Trust said: “With the funds available from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity pot, Newcastleton and District Community Trust can progress with all the detailed feasibility work on Holm Hill.

“Plans include a wide range of enhancements to make it more accessible for walkers, cyclists, and riders as well as a new focal point for the active leisure hub.

“It was great to be able to share the vision with Ms Hamilton and we hope that following the current consultation process, plans get the green light. 2024 could be another very busy year for the staff team to complete delivery of the proposals.

“We are grateful to all our partners for supporting Newcastleton to achieve its ambitions, without whom none of this could be achieved.”