Scottish mountain biking a multi-million beneficiary of Growth Deal

A new Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal signed this week will see Scottish Mountain Biking benefit from around £26 million in new investment.

Develop Mountain Biking in Scotland today detailed the funding sign off, celebrating £19 million for an ambitious new project to create what is described as the world’s first Mountain Bike innovation Centre, to be added to the Bike Park and Trail Lab site at Innerleithen.

A further £5 million will be invested in the 7Stanes mountain biking network that spans the Borders of Dumfries and Galloway.

Signed off by ministers of the UK and Scottish Government, as well as representatives from Borderlands Councils, it is hoped the developments will further bolster what is already a world class destination for mountain biking and other forms of cycling.

As part of the investment is is expected 400 new jobs may be created at the Innovation Centre and Bike Park alone, wrote DMBinS. A gross added value calculation projects the investment to contribute £141 million annually to the region.

Ed Shoote of DMBinS, the Senior Project Manager of the Mountain Bike Project, said: “It is fantastic news that the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, including the Mountain Bike Project, is pushing ahead.

“The vision is for the South of Scotland to be recognised as the European leader in mountain biking and this is an important step forward. The innovation centre and adventure bike park will help grow the area’s profile and encourage sustainable business growth and development. The adventure bike park will deliver much needed investment in infrastructure to manage the growing number of visitors to the area, while protecting and adding to the already fantastic trail network and attractions to ensure visitors spend more time in the area.”

“There is still a lot of work to do to realise this vision and we will continue to work with the project partners and the local community to deliver the best project for the region.”

Councillor Mark Rowley added: “This project is a fantastic example of how projects funded by the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal can deliver multiple benefits, in this case attracting new businesses and jobs to the area and also attracting tourists from across the UK, Europe and beyond, building on the already well-established reputation of the Tweed Valley as one of the world’s top mountain biking destinations.”

Professor Nick Antonopoulos, Vice Principal for Research and Innovation at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “Today marks another important milestone for Edinburgh Napier and its partners in our journey towards making the South of Scotland the mountain bike capital of Europe. The Borderlands Growth Deal will build on the fantastic groundwork of the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, hosted by Edinburgh Napier University who have been supporting cycling innovation since 2012.”

“This investment will take the work of the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland to the next level, helping to drive innovation and support product research and development, whilst working with local and international companies.

“Together, these projects will power commercial activity, attract inward investment and deliver positive outcomes in terms of public health and supporting carbon neutral products and processes.

“We are also hugely excited by the potential research opportunities for Edinburgh Napier colleagues across a range of academic disciplines, including exercise science, health and wellbeing, engineering, inclusion, product design, artificial intelligence, big data and tourism.”

South of Scotland Enterprise Chair, Russel Griggs OBE, added: “This is a transformational project which could really put the South of Scotland on the map as a global leader in the mountain-biking industry. “The potential wider economic and community benefits for the local area are significant in terms of inward investment and jobs.

“I am delighted the South of Scotland Enterprise will be working with various partners to realise this ambition.”