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Meet Marc - The new Scottish Borders Trail Development Co-ordinator.

As a result of our successful application for funding to the UK Community Renewal Fund, we are pleased to introduce a new member of our team, Marc J Crowley. This unique post is the first fully funded, Scottish Cycling post to work directly alongside a trails association.

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What is the Community Renewal Fund?

The UK Government is providing £220m through the UK Community Renewal Fund to help areas across the UK move smoothly away from the EU Structural Fund programme. This fund will help to prepare the way during 2021-22 for the new UK Shared Prosperity Fund by offering the opportunity to pilot new approaches.

The Scottish Borders has been designated a priority place to receive UK Community Renewal Fund up to a maximum of £3m, and we were delighted to have a successful outcome to our application.

The aim of the fund is to support communities to pilot new ideas and approaches to better support people and communities in need. It will support innovative responses to local challenges and local needs.

Over the next 3 years, the Scottish Borders will host international events and deliver three multi-million-pound mountain bike capital projects – The Borderlands MTB Project, a refresh of the 7Stanes, and the Glentress Masterplan. This role and the new Scottish Borders MTB Regional Development Coordinator post (details to be released later today 23/2) will help ensure the Borders maximises the development and business opportunities that mountain biking brings.

The Scottish Borders is one of the leading mountain biking destinations in the UK. By supporting the continued growth and development of mountain biking we will help deliver greater impacts through developing the skills agenda, support innovation in small businesses and invest in local communities to sustainably develop the economic contribution that mountain biking makes across the Borders.

This role will liaise closely with the Scottish Borders MTB Regional Development Coordinator, to ensure that mountain biking grows sustainably at a community level within the Tweed Valley to capitalise fully on upcoming opportunities.

What is the post?

Marc will be in post as the ‘DMBinS/TVTA Scottish Borders Trail Development Co-ordinator’ to deliver a partnership project to develop and improve mountain biking trails in the Tweed Valley and across the Scottish Borders. The role will support the objectives of the TVTA while being managed and employed by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS).

We will be providing further details about this role and sharing just what Marc will be getting up to, but in the meantime, this is a wee bit about Marc!

Marc Hike a Bike Trossachs

Who are you? Marc Crowley

How old are you? Mid-40s, I stopped counting after I made it to 21.

Where are you from? From all around the UK, my Dad was in the RAF so moved a fair bit. Settled in Edinburgh 20 years ago and finally relocated to the Tweed Valley for the biking 3 years ago having spent the previous 2 decades travelling down most weeks to ride.

What's your role within DMBinS? Scottish Borders Trail Development Co-ordinator. Working with DMBinS and the TVTA to lead out trail maintenance sessions with different groups, working with public and private land managers to develop and maintain the Tweed Valley trail network. Biking makes me happy, so this is an exciting opportunity to contribute more of my time to the trail network and in turn to other people's happiness.

Children? I have two kids in Peebles High School, both keen mountain bikers, so Peebles is a good place to live, having a large number and wide variety of trails within riding distance of the house.

What's your favourite food? I'm partial to east Asian food (Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, etc.) and pretty handy in the kitchen too which helps as these cuisines are something that the Tweed Valley doesn't have.

Favourite Bike? I quite like my current bike (Evil The Offering), it does most things OK and is used for everything, though I am tempted by the dark side. If money wasn't an obstacle a "lightweight" e-bike would be a treat to own; some assistance on the ups and not too much of a handful descending the steep technical Tweed Valley trails.

Bike kit can't live without? Topeak Alien II Multitool has got me home more times than I can remember.

Favourite place to ride? Obviously, it's the Tweed Valley. There are hundreds of trails ranging from all-weather and entry-level trail centre machine built tracks, the steep & technical enduro trails which contribute the high skill level of the local riders and some good remote loops.

Little known fact? I'm colour blind, so if you see a red-handled saw/mattock/hoe near a trail, I've likely lost it amongst the green and brown of the forest, send me a grid reference!

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This position is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund

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