Scotland’s 7stanes mountain bike trail network is to get a £1 million (US$1.5m) cash injection.
The money will be used to boost private sector involvement in the project, with the aim of cementing southern Scotland’s reputation as a world centre for mountain biking.
Cash will also be spent on trail maintenance, developing the area around Newcastleton and putting on mountain bike races and other events.
The funding comes from the scheme’s public sector backers, who have agreed to support the project for another three years. They include Scottish Enterprise, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Borders Council , VisitScotland, Solway Heritage and Scottish Natural Heritage.
Scottish Environment Minister Michael Russell said: “The 7stanes has been a major success story, not only for the south of Scotland but also in building Scotland’s image worldwide as an outstanding destination for mountain bikers. The continuation of this successful public and private sector partnership will not only reinforce Scotland’s reputation in the sport, but will bring wider benefits to businesses and communities alike.”
The 7stanes network attracts 400,000 visitors a year and ranks among Scotland’s top 20 visitor attractions.
The new funding will be used to:
- support the development of businesses associated with the 7stanes
- develop capacity and promote a leadership role for the private sector
- encourage the growth of mountain biking events and competitions
- increase business participation in promoting the 7stanes
- work with local communities on joint initiatives linked to their local trails
- maintain and improve the existing trails and trailhead infrastructure.