New nationwide strategy and funding for Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland part of announcement
The Scottish Government has thrown its support behind mountain biking in Scotland with the announcement of a new strategy and funding for two of the country’s leading organisations within the sport.
At an event at the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland at Glentress yesterday (30 April 2019), Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, officially launched the Scottish Mountain Bike Strategy for 2019-2025 alongside announcing funding for both the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland and Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland for the next three years.
The six year strategy has been developed on behalf of all those with a stake in Scottish mountain biking, whether they be riders, the tourism industry, or product designers and manufacturers.
The strategy comes at an exciting time for mountain biking in Scotland with the country due to host the UCI World Championships in 2023, new trail developments in the pipeline, success on the global stage from Scottish riders, a growing number of innovative tourism and product development businesses and a number of targeted participation programmes running across the country.
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.
Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop
said: “Mountain biking is a growing activity in Scotland and this revised and ambitious strategy is very timely.
“I welcome the strategy’s threefold aim to increase participation, to support developing athletes and to increase the economic contribution of the sector to the wider Scottish economy.
“Key to the successful delivery of the strategy will be the work of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, who play an important role in overseeing the strategy, and Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, who will drive forward innovation across Scottish mountain biking. That is why we have committed to investing in these organisations, allowing them to work towards a sustainable future.”
Lead Academic of the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland (MTBCOS) and Professor at Edinburgh Napier University, Prof Geraint Florida-James, said: “With the global cycling product market forecast at $64 billion by 2025, we are taking steps to ensure that Scottish companies are best placed to develop innovative products through collaborative knowledge exchange programmes to access this market. It truly is an exciting time to be involved with the cycling industry.
“Innovation is one of the key themes of new strategy and MTBCOS will drive this theme forward with ambitious plans for a global innovation centre based in Scotland. This level of ambition would not be possible without the support of the Scottish Government and we are delighted that they will be supporting MTBCOS over the next 3 years.”
Graeme McLean, Head of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, said: “Our vision is for Scotland to be recognised as the leader of European mountain biking through innovative product development and tourism, participation and sport development, and sustainable trail development.
“Our Mission by 2025 is to have:-
• Two million annual visits to the Scottish outdoors on a mountain bike an increase of 33%.
• A world champion or world series winner in every mountain bike discipline
• And to increase mountain biking’s annual total economic GVA contribution to £158m by 2025 an increase of 51%
“The interest and support from Scottish Government into mountain biking is fantastic. It is clear that they share our vision for the opportunities that mountain biking can bring to Scotland and they are confident that we have a clear and coherent new strategy to achieve our growth potential. We welcome the investment and support and we look forward to continue to develop our working relationship with the Scottish Government.”