THE Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland (MTBCOS) is supporting a multi-million pound economic boom as businesses create new and innovative products for the soaring number of cyclists taking to the great outdoors, business leaders will hear today.
8 December 2015
Fergus Ewing MSP, Scotland’s Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, will learn how the Borders-based centre has created money-spinning opportunities across a range of sectors.
The centre, at Glentress Forest near Peebles, opened in the summer of 2014 and is the UK’s largest mountain bike trail centre with more than 300,000 visitors per year. It is run as a partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Cycling.
The picturesque setting has become a focal point for product testing and mountain bike-related training and research.
Now a new survey of the companies which have worked with the centre has reinforced an earlier study highlighting the value of mountain biking to Scotland’s economy.
The survey of 28 companies, ranging from textiles firms and bicycle manufacturers to security devices firms and makers of specialist equipment, forecast a combined increase in turnover of £13.5million over the next three years.
This growth will create 69 new jobs and see a £7.4million increase in international sales over the same period.
Fergus Ewing will today hear about developments at the centre from lead academic Dr Geraint Florida-James, Business Development Executive Danny Cowe and Scottish Funding Council Director Stuart Fancey at an event showcasing its achievements.
Dr Florida-James, a Reader in Sport & Exercise Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “The opportunities for knowledge transfer between business and academia in the mountain bike industry are huge. We are therefore excited that Scottish academics and in particular Edinburgh Napier University are taking a lead in an area that offers so many opportunities for innovation and research in real world scenarios.”
the product developments linked to the centre is Scottoiler’s
automatic chain lubrication system Cycle S1, which attaches to a bike
and takes over the entire chain maintenance process, delivering the
perfect quantity of fresh lubricant on to the chain exactly when
required. Researchers who put the system through its paces found
cyclists averaged a five per cent increase in power output.
Another development carried out in conjunction with the Mountain
Bike Centre was SussMyBike’s monitoring device which gathers the data
you need to accurately adjust your suspension for improved performance
via a smartphone app.
Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, said:
“Scotland is blessed with some of the best mountain biking facilities
in the world and the Scottish Government is committed to maintaining
this international reputation. Mountain biking is not only an excellent
way to stay fit and healthy but it is an exciting growth industry, as
these new figures show.
“One of the jewels in Scotland’s mountain biking crown, Glentress
attracts hundreds of thousands of mountain bikers to the Tweed Valley
every year and I am pleased to be here today to see how the Mountain
Bike Centre, industry and academia are collaborating to create new
products and experiences which will allow this exciting sport to grow
Stuart Fancey, Interim Director of Research & Innovation at the
Scottish Funding Council, said: “Getting the experts in Scotland’s
universities working together with bright new businesses is something
SFC actively encourages. It’s great to see how this initiative has
already helped businesses to develop new innovations in every aspect of
mountain biking – from where you change and what you wear, to
improving your ride, new bikes, repairs and security.
“I am delighted that this collaborative enterprise is flourishing.
It’s a great example of the positive impact that our world-leading
universities have on our economy and communities.”
In 2013, a study by University of Highlands & Islands estimated
that visiting mountain bikers spent £49 million in the country, with
indirect spending amounting to £130 million.
For further information contact Danny Cowe, Business Development Executive, on 07796 311 505 or Jack Mathieson, Media & Communications Officer at Edinburgh Napier University, on 0131 455 6251.
Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland
+44 (0)1721 722172
Notes to editors
The Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland is a joint initiative headed by Edinburgh Napier University and Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, with project partner Scottish Enterprise. The project is funded by the Scottish Funding Council and Edinburgh Napier University.
From market research to product development; knowledge transfer, testing and product launches, it helps Scottish businesses capitalise in one of the country’s fastest growing sports and to bring Scottish mountain biking products and services to an international audience.