Cyclewise has lifted the curtain on a new two-storey training centre and e-Bike hub in the heart of Whinlatter Forest.
Craig Scott, one of the Cyclewise directors said: “We’d outgrown our shop because of the increase in the number of visitors who want to go mountain biking and e-biking. Combined with the growing demand for our range of courses, from British Cycling Leadership Qualifications to mechanic skills courses, it meant we simply needed more space.”
The modular building replaces an old wooden shed and comes kitted out ready to maintain a fleet of e-Bikes for customers wanting to sling a leg over for demos. Those customers, alongside school groups and private bookings, will also be able to tap into skills training within a purpose built classroom.
Cyclewise is recognised by British Cycling as a Centre of Excellence and a leading provider of mountain bike leader qualifications. The business also offers a range cycle skills training courses and deliver Bikeability to 4,000 school children per annum.
“We are delighted about this new development which is open and ready for Summer 2021, said Amy Scott, finance director. “We successfully won a Rural Development Growth Programme Grant through the Rural Payments Agency, and secured the recent tender for Whinlatter bike hire concession with Forestry England. All of us at Cyclewise are proud to have finally finished the project, which we have been desperately keen to do. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the grant and we are so grateful.
“This new development helps sustain our existing business, create new business opportunities and enables us to expand into the booming interest in electric mountain biking.
“Our families love the bike trails in the forest and being able to offer more e-Bikes to rent means that we can share that enjoyment with more people. Electric bikes have opened up the fells to new users, who are may be older, recovering from illness or injury, be less fit, or not as confident. It also means a mixed ability group of people can enjoy cycling together at similar speed.
“The hub gives us a new base for our kids mountain bike club – Cyclewise Academy. As a Cumbria Tourism 2018 Adventure Experience Award winner, we are keen to deliver a quality service and facilities and attract a wide variety of users to cycling.
“And we’re creating jobs – two full time positions. We strongly believe other local accommodation and cafes will also benefit from this project, as well as support an increase in visitors numbers to Whinlatter Forest and the local area.”
The expansion builds on a December 2015 opening of a retail store in Cockermouth, the second branch to open in the trio.