CALLS for a national park in the Borders are set to be reignited next week.

In recent years campaigners have outlined the case for a park to be established in the region.

And on Tuesday (April 18), a presentation on the matter will be given at a meeting of Teviot and Liddesdale Area Partnership.

A struggling economy, particularly in the southern Borders, and a desire to preserve the area’s landscape and cultural heritage are among reasons given for wanting a national park.

It is hoped it would give tourism in the region a boost.

“In the Scottish Borders [between] 2013-19, there was a drop in domestic tourism spend and overseas spend remained more or less the same, therefore a decrease in real terms,” says campaigner Malcolm Dickson.

“SBC (Scottish Borders Council), partners and tourism businesses have worked hard to improve tourism and some important initiatives [are] under way and on the horizon, but [it is] difficult to get widespread marketing in a very competitive field.”

An independent feasibility study was published in September 2017.

It was found that a strong case could be made for a national park in the Borders, while there was “enthusiastic support” from local people, communities and businesses.

That support appears to remain, with the region coming second in an online poll last year aimed at identifying the best site for a new park.

There are currently two in Scotland – the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs – and both were created around 20 years ago.

The Scottish Government said it would establish at least one new site by 2026.

On the current national parks, biodiversity minister Lorna Slater said: “They work hard to tackle the biodiversity and climate crisis, help manage facilities for visitors, promote responsible access and develop sustainable communities. They have become jewels in Scotland’s crown, and now is the time to add to them.

“We are committed to establish at least one new national park in Scotland by the end of this parliamentary session in 2026.

“To be able to do this in an open and transparent manner, we need to be able to assess any new area which is to be considered for national park status against a set of agreed expectations.”