Businesses in Queensferry have seen a welcome boost in their trade thanks to the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge.
The Forth Bridges Festival was staged from September 4 to 13 to celebrate the anniversary and thousands of visitors flocked to the town.
The 10 day festival was organised by Forth Estuary Transport Authority and Queensferry Ambition, a Business Improvement District (BID) group set up to boost local business.
This week, Malcolm Brown, chairman of Queensferry Ambition, told the Journal and Gazette: “When businesses unanimously voted for BID in Queensferry, one of the things that Queensferry Ambition said from the outset was that we wanted to be the catalyst for a stronger, more vibrant business community.
“What we wanted to achieve was a new feel-good factor in the town for businesses, the community and for visitors.
“We wanted to highlight that not only was Queensferry a great place to live, but also as an example of a town where businesses – old and new – could thrive and grow.”
Along with other organisations, including the city council and the community council, the group launched a pro-active strategy which saw it helping to create community markets, utilise cruise ship visits and help bring The Bridges Festival to fruition.
Malcolm added: “The community market has proved a great success, especially when it is linked in with other events such as The Bridges Festival.
“The feedback has been tremendous from businesses, residents and visitors.
“We hope to create even bigger markets in the years ahead and are looking at how we can improve e.g. through traffic-free periods which would be more welcoming for families.
“The Forth Bridges Festival has been a great success. You just had to be a visitor to Queensferry to see the impact it had on the town.
“Shops, restaurants, B &Bs, hotels and tourist attractions reported increased visitor numbers.
“But what should never be underestimated is the feel- good factor of what has been achieved. One local summed it up brilliantly – ‘What a great place to live and work. It just keeps getting better and better.’
“Now we have to look to the future – at the successes of the Festival and markets and look at what we can learn for future events.
“As I said, Queensferry Ambition wanted to be the catalyst to make things happen. Although we played our part it could not have been achieved without the support of Queensferry businesses and the people of the town.
“Thank you, one and all.”