South Scotland

Scottish Borders Council 'minded to approve' Jim Clark Rally return

Jim Clark Rally Image copyright PA
Image caption The Jim Clark Rally has not been held on its traditional route since three people died in 2014

A council has confirmed it is "minded to approve" plans for the return of the Jim Clark Rally - more than five years after three deaths at the event.

The local authority in the Borders said the "overwhelming majority" of responses to its consultation had backed such a move.

However, the council said "significant work" still had to be done in order to receive final approval.

If given it would see a rally held on closed roads on 8 and 9 November.

Iain Provan, 64, Elizabeth Allan, 63, and Len Stern, 71, died at the Jim Clark Rally in 2014 and it has not been held on its traditional route since.

A fatal accident inquiry delivered its findings into the incident in 2017.

New legislation paving the way for the rally's return required Scottish Borders Council to consult about its planning and implementation.

It received more than 700 responses - most of them in favour of proposals for 12 rally stages using four routes over two days.

'Economic boost'

SBC's executive member for culture and sport Euan Jardine said: "We are all operating under new legislation in planning for this event and that has its own requirements and a significant amount of work is still required before we could provide formal approval and a motor sport order for the event.

"However, we are confident that the outstanding matters can be dealt with through the intense planning process that is ongoing and for the event to take place as currently proposed."

Executive member for business and economic development Mark Rowley said that while it would be a smaller rally than in previous years there was no doubt it would bring an "economic boost".

"This would be particularly welcome outwith the normal visitor season and would be a great finale to the year which has seen the successful opening of the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum in Duns," he said.

"The economic impact of the proposed event is, as written in the new legislation, a consideration for the council in assessing whether it should go ahead, however our priority, first and foremost, is that it is as safe as possible for all involved."

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