Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham has visited the Scottish Borders to the check progress of a £3m forest visitor center.
She said the Glentress Peel center, being built by Forestry Commission Scotland, could become a “jewel in the crown” of tourism in the region.
The proposals for the development were first submitted nearly four years ago and it hopes to open in 2011.
Glentress Forest attracts about 300,000 walkers and mountain bikers every year.
Ms Cunningham said she expected that figure to rise.
“The new Glentress Peel will act as a stunning focal point for anyone visiting the Tweed Valley Forest Park,” she said.
“With high quality and attractive facilities on offer, we would expect the new center to provide a further boost to the Borders tourism economy.
“Not only is the center important in economic terms, it is a showcase for sustainable development and construction with the cladding and timber frames all made from Douglas Fir, which was grown in Glentress.”