Tribute to a Borders council officer who made the region ‘Scotland’s leading cycling destination’

Thursday August 31st 2023

Richard Sweetnam

Former Scottsh Borders Council office, Richard Sweetnam, who has died.


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Paul Kelly

Tribute has been paid to a former Scottish Borders Council officer who helped bring the Tour of Britain to the region for the first time.

Richard Sweetnam, who died on August 2 after a long battle with cancer, led the council’s Economic Development Team from 2009 and 2015 before moving to Aberdeen City Council as it chief officer of city growth.

He was responsible for overseeing the ongoing Aberdeen city centre and beach masterplan projects.

But he also played a crucial role in bringing many popular sporting events to the city including the Great Aberdeen Run, Ovo Energy Tour Cycling Road Races and the Tour of Britain.

At a meeting of Scottish Borders Council, convener Councillor Watson McAteer looked back on Mr Sweetnam’s six-year career in the region.

Councillor McAteer said: “During his service with the council Richard had a significant impact on our region, bringing the Tour of Britain to the Scottish Borders for the first time and developing the Borders as Scotland’s leading cycling destination, a legacy we can see the impact of continuing with the recent ICI World Cycling Championships.

“Richard was also instrumental in delivering the Borders Railway Blueprint which unlocked £10 million of additional Scottish Government investment for the region.

“Originally from Ireland he and his family made Selkirk their home and he was a junior coach at Selkirk Rugby Club.

“His passion and enthusiasm, friendship and dedication to public service will be greatly missed and I’d like to pass on our condolences to his wife Margaret and his sons Finlay, Alec and Archie.”

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