As the published minutes of last month’s community council meeting show it was neither stated nor suggested that Scottish Borders Council have taken a decision to shelve the AIMUp project, indeed the Council could not take such a decision as the project is the development of and is championed by a talented local group. There is no way that SBC could decide what they should do!

It is also quite wrong to suggest that the Council is anything other than supportive of the AIMUp proposition as has been demonstrated by deeds as well as words.

The Council supported and approved AIMUp’s planning application; the Council supported the organising and counting of the Community Ballot for approval to lease land under the National Forest Land Scheme; and the Council supported investigation of the possibility of European finance. The Council leader is on public record – in your paper on February 26 - as stating that “the Council are very positive about the AIMUp project” and would support it if the business case adds up.

We had hoped that the progress outlined above would bring forward private finance, but as that has not happened we now need both a Forward Action Plan for developing mountain biking in the Tweed Valley Forest Park and a phased approach to the development of uplift capacity. It is to the credit of the AIMUp enthusiasts that they are still engaging with these challenges.

I am, etc.

Councillor Stuart Bell Executive Member for Economic Development Scottish Borders Council