South Scotland

Innerleithen mountain bike project gains momentum

Downhill biking Image copyright DMBINS
Image caption The area could become the "European capital" of the sport according to the people behind the plans

A bid to create a mountain bike innovation centre in the Scottish Borders is gathering pace.

An outline business case is being drawn up for the project - said to be the only one of its kind in Europe.

A "world class" bike park in the Tweed Valley is also part of the proposals.

The Innerleithen project is one of a number of plans which are part of the ongoing Borderlands Growth Deal aiming to boost the economy of southern Scotland and northern England.

A public consultation on the scheme will be held in the town later this month.

Image copyright DMBINS
Image caption The plans are contained in the ongoing Borderlands Growth Deal proposals

The outline business case has been taken forward by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS), a partnership project involving Scottish Cycling, Edinburgh Napier University (ENU), Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Borders Council.

It has been consulting and working with local businesses, national agencies and international bike brands to develop the proposals.

DMBinS regional mountain bike co-ordinator Ed Shoote said: "The Tweed Valley is already home to some of the best mountain bike riding in the UK and every year its reputation grows.

"We believe this proposal promotes the area to become the European capital of mountain biking.

"Following the previous community meeting the message was clear that Innerleithen had fantastic potential to offer a wider range of trails to compliment Glentress - from jump trails to fun family-orientated bike park trails.

"Whilst the plans are progressing with a good deal of political support, we need to ensure the local community is on board with the ideas and will support the proposals."

Feedback from the consultation meeting - on 24 January - will be used to develop a full business case.

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