This significant step is testament to the incredible amount of work that has gone on behind the scenes, for some years now.
The world first mountain bike innovation centre and adventure bike park with trail lab will help grow the area’s profile and encourage sustainable business growth and development, creating over 400 new jobs for the area within the next 10 years.
The scale and opportunities that this significant project will bring to Scotland are immense. The Innovation Centre will offer opportunities to companies from all over the globe to develop innovative products and services, train and test athletes and offer a place for businesses to showcase their products in the heart of the UK's leading mountain bike destination.
This project has been a huge part of the work of our Team, specifically Ed Shoote, whose job changed to fully focus his time on this over three years ago, and then with a move to South of Scotland Enterprise, as the Programme Lead for this project.
Substantial recent investments into Scottish mountain biking by both the UK Government and the Scottish Government highlights the commitment to increase the economic impact that sport is already having in Scotland and will cement Scotland's place around the world as the international destination of choice for mountain biking.
We are excited for the future and look forward to continuing to work on this transformational project which will put the South of Scotland on the map as a global leader in the mountain-biking industry.
Significant step forward for Mountain Bike Innovation Centre with planning permission approval.
South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) has confirmed that planning permission has been secured to renovate Caerlee Mill in Innerleithen to be the home of the new Mountain Bike Innovation Centre.
Together with the proposed Tweed Valley Bike Park and Trail Lab near Innerleithen, the Mountain Bike Innovation Centre is a key development for the South of Scotland and will be funded as part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
The UK Government is investing £19million into the project. This is part of its £265m investment in the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, along with the Scottish Government investment of £85m in the Deal. The Innovation Centre is predicted to contribute £141m in Gross Value Added (GVA) and create over 400 jobs in the South of Scotland over ten years.
The overall project is being delivered by SOSE, alongside partners Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) and Scottish Borders Council (SBC).
SOSE completed the purchase of The Caerlee Mill site last year and have been working hard with partners to secure planning permission for the change of use and building renovation.
Hub South East Scotland have been appointed as delivery partner and Morrison Construction will undertake all building works. Preparation works to ensure the site is safe and secure will take place in the coming weeks, ahead of full works beginning this summer.
The 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 offer a place for businesses to showcase their products in the heart of the UKs leading mountain bike destination.
In addition, the renovation of the listed Caerlee Mill for commercial use will help preserve an important building for the local community and for Scotland’s industrial heritage.
A target for the South of Scotland is to become mountain biking’s European capital, with Glentress Forest being one of the hosts for 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships this summer.
SOSE Chair, Professor Russel Griggs, said:
“We are delighted to have secured planning permission for this hugely exciting project for Innerleithen, the Tweed Valley and the South of Scotland.
“This represents an important milestone and we can now start on-site construction works to deliver a world class innovation centre, bringing jobs, opportunity and growth to Innerleithen and the surrounding area.”
UK Government Minister for Scotland John Lamont said:
"It is fantastic that the Mountain Bike Innovation Centre has received planning permission.
"The Innerleithen centre will bring jobs and investment to the region creating a world class Innovation Centre that will attract riders from across the country and beyond.
"The UK Government is supporting the project with £19million investment as part of the £265million Borderlands Growth Deal."
Councillor Scott Hamilton, SBC’s Executive Member for Community and Business Development, said:
“The development of this world-leading facility in the South of Scotland, the home of the bike, is absolutely fantastic for the area and our economy.
“This builds on this area’s strengths and our existing reputation as a leading cycling destination, with some of the best mountain bike trails in the world, and will create a significant number of jobs and long term investment.”
Professor Nick Antonopoulos, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice Principal of Research & Innovation at Edinburgh Napier University, said:
“We are excited by the opportunities the new centre will bring, and welcome the prospect of construction getting underway.
“This is a positive step towards a facility which will offer a strong platform for research across a wide range of academic fields – allowing us to build on the ground-breaking work already taking place at the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland.
“We look forward to continuing Edinburgh Napier University’s commitment to supporting bike innovation during what will be a significant year for cycling in Scotland.”
Eileen MacKin, Hub South East’s Project Director, said:
“We are delighted to be involved in this innovative project which sees the renovation of Caerlee Mill, establishing it as pioneering and sector leading within the mountain biking sector, just as it once was within the textile industry.
“Achieving planning permission is a key milestone for the development and we look forward to working with our partners and contractor, Morrison Construction, to make these exciting plans a reality.”
Any businesses interested in find out more about the Mountain Bike Innovation Centre should contact SOSE via www.southofscotlandenterprise.com/contact-us
The full planning application can be viewed at SBC’s planning portal.
- The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal was formally signed on 18 March 2021, bringing in up to £452 million of fresh investment to the Borderlands area. Ministers of the UK and Scottish Governments and representatives of the five councils of the Borderlands Partnership signed the Deal at a virtual ceremony.
- The Deal is truly distinctive, covering the largest geographical area of any regional growth Deal negotiated with the UK and Scottish Governments and it is the first cross-border deal
- The five partners across the Borderlands region are Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council
- More information is available at www.borderlandsgrowth.com/
Mountain Biking receives huge boost as multi-million pound Borderlands inclusive growth deal signed
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