The planning application for the new Mountain Bike Innovation Centre has been submitted by South of Scotland Enterprise.
The £13 million centre in Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders 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 Innovation Centre will allow Scottish, UK and international companies to develop innovative products and services, or 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. It will also offer a place for businesses both local and international to showcase their products.
UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: “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.
“Even better, the project is also preserving and regenerating the important historic site of Innerleithen’s Caerlee Mill. The UK Government is investing £19m in the growth of mountain biking as part of our £265m support for the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.”
The planning application proposes to locate the centre at the former Caerlee Mill. There is also a range of opportunities it will offer for the local community and businesses in the area.
It will be accompanied by up to £6 million 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 proposed 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.
South of Scotland Enterprise is delivering the overall project, with support from partners Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) and Scottish Borders Council (SBC). 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.
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SOSE Chair, Professor Russel Griggs, added: “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.”
The project is part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal which is bringing up to £452 million of fresh investment across the Borderlands region, including £265 million from the UK Government and £85 million from the Scottish Government. The project is part of the Deal theme of supporting business, innovation and skills, which aims to stimulate business growth to create a more diverse regional economy and recognises that innovation and skills are central to success.