Rachael Hamilton MSP visited a farm and visited a local tourist attraction in the Yarrow Valley to discuss post-Covid recovery.
The Borders MSP met constituents at the Waterwheel Tearoom and Eyrie Eagle Information Point.
Key issues raised included revitalising the rural tourism sector, bringing visitors to the region and the clarity and support needed for businesses as they enter the recovery phase of the pandemic.
She later visited Broadmeadows, Yarrowford to discuss with farmer Alec Telfer, pertinent agricultural issues, such as trade deals, land reform and the future of farm payments.
As the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, this was a fantastic opportunity to hear first-hand the key issues affecting rural businesses.
Rachael Hamilton said:
“I have seen first-hand the amazing covid-safe measure and attention to detail that small rural businesses are making to stay in business.
“We need greater clarity over the routemap and the next stages as we emerge from the pandemic.
“Across the Yarrow Valley and Selkirkshire there are few opportunities for young people, and I want to see this fundamentally change.
“Broadband and other services must be improved if we are to retain people in rural areas.
“But we also have to see inward investment and job creation; that has been lacking due to the SNP Government.
“It has become clear that the SNP’s delay in announcing the future farm payment scheme is knocking the confidence of many farmers, especially when it comes to investing in their businesses.
“Rural Scotland has been let down by 14 years of successive SNP Governments, who are more obsessed with the Central Belt rather than our beautiful Borders.