SOSE to play key role in Borderlands-backed mountain bike project

The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal has been signed on Thursday 18 March, confirming millions of pounds of investment into the South of Scotland.

Ministers of the UK and Scottish Governments and representatives of the five councils of the Borderlands Partnership signed the deal, which aims to drive inclusive growth and deliver significant and lasting benefits for individuals, businesses and communities, including the creation of up to 5,500 jobs.

Innerleithen Mountain Bike Innovation Centre/Tweed Valley Bike Park and Trail Lab

A key element of the Borderlands Growth Deal for the Scottish Borders is the development of a new mountain bike innovation centre in Innerleithen that will support Scottish, UK and international businesses to develop innovative products and services within mountain biking and across the cycling sector. 

In addition, a Tweed Valley Bike Park and Trail Lab will be created in what is thought to be a global first in terms of combining tourism and innovation. An adventure bike park will deliver infrastructure to attract and sustainably manage visitors to the Scottish Borders.

Facts and figures

  • Borderlands Deal investing £19million in the project
  • Predicted to contribute £141m in Gross Value Added (GVA)
  • Over 400 new jobs in the South of Scotland predicted

The project partnership includes South of Scotland Enterprise as project sponsors, alongside Scottish Borders Council, Edinburgh Napier University and Scottish Cycling, through Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS).

South of Scotland Enterprise Chair, Russel Griggs OBE

“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, as well as bringing further UK and international tourism to the region.

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

Ed Shoote of DMBinS, the Senior Project Manager of the Mountain Bike Project

“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.

“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, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Economic Regeneration and Finance

 “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

“This investment will take the work of 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.”

What else is included in the Deal for the South of Scotland?

  • Support the development of Chapelcross in Dumfries and Galloway, as the region’s clean growth strategic investment site for low carbon energy generation and energy efficient businesses.
  • £11m Destination Tweed tourism project based around the River Tweed
  • Funding to further develop the 7Stanes mountain biking network across the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway
  • A share of £20m for town and community improvement projects through a Place Programme in the south of Scotland
  • Funding for improved business infrastructure in Hawick and Coldstream
  • Funds to support rural innovation and skills
  • Projects to tackle gaps in digital and mobile infrastructure
  • £10m to deliver the feasibility activity around extending the Borders Railway from Tweedbank to Carlisle
  • Funding to support the generation of low carbon energy
  • Pilot projects covering woodland, upland and agricultural areas to trial new approaches to valuing and protecting our natural capital to capture the benefits of our environment in a sustainable way

Further information

The Borderlands Partnership is made up of Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council.