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Scottish Borders Heritage Festival visitor numbers exceed all expectations

Press Release   •   Nov 11, 2016 09:33 GMT

Events were held at Melrose Abbey as part of this year's festival. Photo by Kenny Lam

130 events took place as part of the festival, in addition to those organised as part of the annual Doors Open Day, which was also part of the festival programme. This was double the number of events held during the 2015 festival.

In total, 20,517 people were attributed to visiting sites and taking part in activities due to the festival, up more than 350 per cent on 2015.

Co-ordinated by Scottish Borders Council, with events organised by a range of organisations and businesses with a real passion for the region’s heritage, from Historic Environment Scotland to Borders Family History Society, the Borders Heritage Festival offered a huge selection of visits, walks, tours, workshops and events for local people and visitors.

Councillor Ron Smith, SBC’s Executive Member for Planning and Environment, said: “I am absolutely delighted that so many people took in the Borders Heritage Festival this year. It has grown year-on-year, and with 2017 the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, I am sure that this success will continue.

“The success of the festival is a real partnership effort, with all sizes of organisations stepping up to put on special events, including a wide range at our fantastic heritage locations right across the Scottish Borders.”

Doug Wilson, VisitScotland’s Regional Director added: “The Borders’ rich cultural, built and archaeological heritage is a tremendous asset. By bringing in visitors to the area, and encouraging local residents to visit sites right across the Borders, the festival has a positive impact on our local economy, which is particularly important towards the end of the traditional tourist season.

“The success of the 2016 Borders Heritage Festival is an excellent position to build on in 2017, the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. With so many organisations benefiting from it, I am sure we will continue to see this festival develop in 2017 and beyond and really draw in visitors from across Scotland and the world to this fantastic part of the country.”

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