£19million to be invested in Scottish mountain biking as part of Borderlands Growth Deal
The mountain bike industry in Scotland is set for a major boost after significant investment was earmarked to grow the sector as part of the recently announced Borderlands Growth Deal.
2 July 2019
Yesterday (1 July 2019), the UK Government (David Mundell Secretary of State for Scotland & MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale) and the Scottish Government (MSP Michael Matheson Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity) along with the Leaders of five councils of the Borderlands Partnership jointly announced that up to £19million will be invested in a Mountain Bike Innovation Centre adjacent to a Mountain Bike Adventure Park in the Scottish Borders.
This investment is part of the wider £394.5million Borderlands Growth Deal.
The partnership which has developed the proposal includes the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, hosted by Edinburgh Napier University; Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, hosted by Scottish Cycling; along with Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Borders Council.
The proposal will build on the existing work of the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland and will see significant investment in a new innovation centre in Innerleithen that will support Scottish, UK and International businesses to develop innovative products and services within the mountain biking sector.
The aim of this centre is to seamlessly assist companies to design, prototype and test mountain bike products both within lab-based and trail-based settings and to provide opportunities for small scale manufacture, whilst developing a local supply chain.
The proposal is currently subject to business case approvals, with the partnership now tasked with producing detailed plans to realise the vision.
Professor Geraint Florida-James, Lead Academic at Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland and Edinburgh Napier Professor, said: “This truly is a watershed moment for the Mountain Bike Project Partnership and is testament to the hard work of all concerned to get it to this point. This exciting opportunity has the potential to be transformational both to the economy and wider population of the Scottish Borders. Edinburgh Napier University is keen to further strengthen and develop its links and relationships within this area and I look forward to working with the MTB Partnership, as we move forward into the next phase of Borderlands.”
Ed Shoote, Tweed Valley MTB Development Co-ordinator, said: “It is fantastic news that the Mountain Bike Project has been included within the Heads of Teams for the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. This is an important step forward in the process of creating a world class bike park and innovation centre. This is still a lot of work to do to realise this vision and we will continue to work with a range of partners to deliver the project. We look forward to being able to share the process and timelines when we are able to do so.”
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “The Borderlands Deal has made huge progress in the last 18 months. I’d like to thank the five local authorities who have worked so well together, along with the UK and Scottish governments, to achieve this.
“This is an ambitious approach to cross-border working which will boost economic growth by helping existing businesses, encouraging new ventures and bringing a wealth of improvements to people who live and work in the area and to visitors.”
About Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland
The Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland is a joint initiative led by Edinburgh Napier University and Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, with project partner Scottish Enterprise.
From market research to product development; knowledge transfer, testing and product launches, its main aim is to help Scottish businesses capitalise in one of the country’s fastest growing sports and to help bring Scottish mountain biking products and services to an international audience.
More information can be found here.