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Celebrating Scotland’s global status in Mountain Biking

You may not realise it, but Scotland is a global leader in mountain biking. Not only that, but it’s worth around £50 million a year to the Scottish economy. Add in the economic impact of those who take part in the sport and the value soars to £130 million.

Our landscape makes an ideal destination for the sport, but something more exciting is that our expertise is making Scotland a global leader in mountain bike innovation. The benefits of this reach into the sports development, food and drink, technology and engineering, textiles and tourism sectors.

In June 2014, SFC funded and helped launch the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland (MTBCoS), a joint initiative headed by Edinburgh Napier University and Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, with project partner Scottish Enterprise. Our funding supports Edinburgh Napier University staff based at the centre in Glentress.

This national centre of mountain biking innovation and excellence gives businesses and entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their ideas into cycling products. An original idea for a new business, or a product or service which could be adapted for the mountain bike market, can be teased out and grown by working with the experts in Scottish universities, providing the research and development that can be hard to access for SMEs.

A great benefit of SFC and other agencies working in partnership on this project is that the businesses are also able to more easily access further support from places like Scottish Enterprise and Business Gateway.

The centre is going from strength to strength and has given over 100 businesses the vital research and development needed to launch new technical products, clothing and tourism services.

And they’re going global – for the last four years MTBCoS has run learning journeys and a product stand at EuroBike, the world’s leading trade fair for the industry.

Later this year they will be running a trade mission to Japan to help Scottish companies increase their presence in the county’s growing mountain bike market.

In November, MTBCoS hosted the inaugural Scottish Mountain Bike Awards, as part of the Scottish Mountain Bike Conference in Aviemore. The awards were presented by the legendary Gary Fisher – one of the inventors of the mountain bike. With MTBCoS the biking revolution continues!

Dr John Kemp, Interim Chief Executive, SFC - 5 Dec 2016