Planning application submitted for Mountain Bike Innovation Center

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The planning application for a new Mountain Bike Innovation Center has been submitted by South of Scotland Enterprise.

The £13million center in Innerleithen will be funded by the UK government as part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.

It aims to enable Scottish, UK and international companies to develop products and services, and even train and test athletes, in the mountain biking and cycling sector. It will also host academics and researchers from Edinburgh Napier University in the cycling sector.

The bid proposes locating the center in the old Caerlee Mill – which dates back to 1788 – repurposing a historic building and working with the community to ensure it retains the area’s local industrial heritage.

It will be accompanied by support of up to £6 million from the UK government to a private sector partner to invest in and deliver the Tweed Valley Bike Park and Trail Lab near Innerleithen.

The proposed center is expected to contribute £141 million to gross value added (GVA) and create over 400 jobs in the south of Scotland over 10 years.

South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) is delivering the whole project, with support from partners Edinburgh Napier University and the Scottish Borders Council.

The project’s final business case for full funding will be presented to the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal Partnership’s Board of Directors for approval later this year.

The growth deal brings up to £452m of new investment to the Borderlands region, including £265m from the UK government and £85m from the Scottish government.

SOSE Chairman Russel Griggs said: “This is another significant milestone for the Mountain Innovation Bike Centre, following the purchase of Caerlee Mill earlier this year.

“We look forward to seeing how the scheduling app progresses in the coming months.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart, added: “The creation of the Mountain Bike Innovation Center is really gaining momentum, which will accelerate investment in sport-related businesses and give a big boost to communities in the region.”

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