BUSINESSES across Kelso are backing a bid to bring more visitors to the town as part of a partnership with the tourist board.

Community group Visit Kelso, which is made up of more than ten local companies, has become the latest VisitScotland Information Partner.

The moves comes on the back of the closure of the town's tourist information offices.

Visit Kelso will now actively promote the area and services on offer.

Nikki Allman, secretary of Visit Kelso, said: “As a group of local business owners in Kelso and the surrounding area, we realise how important it is to share our local knowledge and insights with our visitors to help make sure they receive a warm welcome and make the most of what there is to see and do in the local area.

“We have members throughout the town of Kelso and the surrounding area and are therefore ideally located to offer visitors access to information to help enhance their experience and help showcase the tourism offer in the area.

“We want our visitors to have a great time in this wonderful part of the country and we are looking forward to continuing to ensure visitors enjoy a first-class experience.”

Hume Country Clothing, One Basket, Focal Point Furniture, Kelso Pottery, Kelso Border Retreats, Rutherfords Micropub, Seasons, The Cream Chimneys, Borders Cookware, Floors Castle and Swans Shoes are just some of the businesses who have signed up to the scheme.

They will be joining a network of more than 80 VIP partners across the Scottish Borders providing local knowledge to visitors.

Paula Ward, VisitScotland regional director, told us: “Visit Kelso does an amazing job at attracting and offering a first-class experience to visitors of Kelso and we are delighted to welcome the group to our VIP programme.

“It is well-deserved official recognition of the fantastic work that the group already undertakes to promote the local area.

“VisitScotland’s VIP programme is designed to allow those working within the tourism industry to become local ambassadors and help provide information, assistance and advice on all there is to see and do here.

“This follows a growing trend among consumers to use online resources to plan their trips and we now have partners throughout the region providing high quality information and advice to visitors with whom they interact.”