Fiona Hyslop MSP, cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, has launched the Scottish Mountain Bike Strategy for 2019 to 2025, and announced Scottish Government funding for both Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland and Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland for the next three years.
The six year strategy has been developed on behalf of all those with a stake in Scottish mountain biking, whether they be riders, the tourism industry, or product designers and manufacturers.
Hyslop said: “Mountain biking is a growing activity in Scotland and this revised and ambitious strategy is very timely. I welcome the strategy’s threefold aim to increase participation, to support developing athletes and to increase the economic contribution of the sector to the wider Scottish economy.
“Key to the successful delivery of the strategy will be the work of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, who play an important role in overseeing the strategy, and Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, who will drive forward innovation across Scottish mountain biking. That is why we have committed to investing in these organisations, allowing them to work towards a sustainable future.”
Graeme McLean, head of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland said: “Our vision is for Scotland to be recognised as the leader of European mountain biking through innovative product development and tourism, participation and sport development, and sustainable trail development.”
The mission by 2025 is to have:
– Two million annual visits to the Scottish outdoors on a mountain bike, an increase of 33%.
– A world champion or world series winner in every mountain bike discipline.
– To increase mountain biking’s annual total economic GVA contribution to £158 million by 2025, an increase of 51%.
McLean added: “The interest and support from Scottish Government into mountain biking is fantastic. It is clear that they share our vision for the opportunities that mountain biking can bring to Scotland and they are confident that we have a clear and coherent new strategy to achieve our growth potential. We welcome the investment and support and we look forward to continue to develop our working relationship with the Scottish Government.”
Lead academic of the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland (MTBCOS) and professor at Edinburgh Napier University, Geraint Florida-James said: “With the global cycling product market forecast at $64 billion by 2025, we are taking steps to ensure that Scottish companies are best placed to develop innovative products through collaborative knowledge exchange programmes to access this market. It truly is an exciting time to be involved with the cycling industry.
“Innovation is one of the key themes of new strategy and MTBCOS will drive this theme forward with ambitious plans for a global innovation centre based in Scotland. This level of ambition would not be possible without the support of the Scottish Government and we are delighted that they will be supporting MTBCOS over the next three years.”