Preferred bidders have been announced for the new Peel project at Glentress.
Forestry Commission Scotland says it has run a "rigorous tendering exercise" to chose the two new operators. Forestry Commission Scotland was heavily criticised late last year for planning to terminate the lease of the current operators at Glentress, who run The Hub.
The preferred bidder to run the new bike shop in the visitor centre complex is Alpine Bikes Alpine Bikes, founded twenty-two years ago in Aberdeen and now based in Edinburgh. It has nine shops, including three within Tiso Outdoor Experience stores.
The preferred bidder for the cafe on site is GT Restaurants (no relation to the bike brand). This is a new Peebles based company which has been set up by Claire and Olivier Bony, the owners of the Glentress Hotel. They already run a number of businesses including the Hotel’s restaurant and self catering units in Peebles. The Commission will now enter formal discussions with the two companies so that contracts can be completed – this will take a few weeks.
Bill Meadows, the Commission’s Forest District Manager for Dumfries & Scottish Borders said: “We’ve undertaken a very thorough, open and fair tender for commercial opportunities and I’m very pleased that the process has produced two companies which have many years of experience in the mountain bike and outdoor leisure market.
“Both have shown a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and innovation in their tenders and demonstrated they are keen supporters in making Glentress a top class visitor attraction.”
Bryan Shedden, Director of Alpine Bikes, said: "I am thrilled that Alpine Bikes has been offered the tender to run the bike shop at Glentress Peel. Through our shop at Innerleithen we already have sponsorship relationships with local events and clubs and expect to build on this commitment throughout the Tweed Valley.
“With over 22 years of experience in the bike industry, and following our recent acquisition of the summer lease for bike hire at Nevis Range, this appointment further secures our positioning as Scotland’s premium bike retailer and hire centre provider. We look forward to working with Forestry Commission Scotland and the other tenants to make Glentress Peel a resounding success."
Glentress Peel is due to open later in the Spring.
Forest Commission Scotland said it is "committed to working with The Hub for the remainder of their agreements. The Hub’s bike shop permission runs out end of February 2011 and the café lease in February 2012."