The creation of a Scottish Borders National Park would bring a much needed economic boost for the local economy, according to South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.
The local MSP was speaking during a Scottish Parliament debate on National Parks in the chamber on Tuesday (7 June).
The Scottish Government has recently committed to establish at least one new National Park in Scotland by the end of this Parliamentary session in 2026.
Speaking in the debating chamber, Colin Smyth said: “The southern part of the Borders in particular, which is the favoured area of the campaign for a Scottish Borders national park, is in pressing need of an economic boost.
“With easy access to the central belt and the north of England, a Borders national park would help to deliver that boost and bring in more visitors to the area.
“The community campaigns in Galloway, the Borders and elsewhere show that there is real demand and a real appetite to grow the number of national parks in Scotland.
“That is why Labour believes that the Scottish Government’s ambition should not be limited to just one new national park in this parliamentary session.
“Given how far Scotland has fallen behind, there is no reason to stop the Scottish Government favouring, for example, two parks in southern Scotland.
“That could potentially reduce costs through the sharing of services, build on the close and growing links between the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, and ensure that every borderlands rural local authority has a national park in its area.”
Colin Smyth also paid tribute to the community-led campaigns by the Galloway National Park Association and the campaign for a Scottish Borders national park, and campaigns elsewhere.