£13 million Mountain Bike Innovation Centre takes a step forward
Located in Innerleithen in the Scottish borders, the Mountain Bike Innovation Centre will allow Scottish, UK and international companies to develop innovative products and services, or even train and test athletes within the mountain biking and cycling sector. It will also host academics and research by Edinburgh Napier University across the cycling sector.
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South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) has submitted the planning application for the new £13 million Centre, which is set to be a key development for the South of Scotland and will be funded by the UK Government as part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
The planning application proposes to locate the Centre at the former Caerlee Mill, re-purposing an important historic building and working with the community to ensure it retains the area’s local industrial heritage. There is also a range of opportunities it will offer for the local community and businesses in the area, which is known to be one of the UK's leading mountain biking destinations.
“This is another important step forward for the Mountain Innovation Bike Centre, following the purchase of Caerlee Mill earlier this year. We look forward to seeing how the planning application progresses in the coming months,” SOSE Chair, Professor Russel Griggs, said.
The development will be accompanied by up to £6m of UK Government support for a private sector partner to invest in and deliver Tweed Valley Bike Park and Trail Lab near Innerleithen, with both expected to bring a host of benefits.
"The creation of the Mountain Bike Innovation Centre is really gathering momentum which will accelerate investment in businesses related to the sport and provide a big boost to the region's communities. The UK Government is investing £19m in the growth of mountain biking as part of our £265m support for the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal," UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart added.
The proposed Innovation Centre is predicted to contribute £141m to the local economy and create over 400 jobs in the South of Scotland over ten years.
South of Scotland Enterprise is delivering the overall project, with support from partners Edinburgh Napier University and Scottish Borders Council.
The project’s final business case for full funding will be presented to the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal Partnership Board for approval later this year.
The project is part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal which is bringing up to £452m of fresh investment across the Borderlands region, including £265m from the UK Government and £85m from the Scottish Government.