The arrival of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow and across Scotland this month puts the south of Scotland firmly on the map as a centre for cycling excellence.
Across the south, the Mountain Bike Cross-Country events are being held at Glentress Forest in the Scottish Borders, while Dumfries plays host to the Para-cycling Road races.
More than a million spectators are expected across the whole championships, as well as a global television audience of around one billion, making it one of the world’s top 10 sporting events.
With such a domestic and global interest is it perhaps no surprise that expanding provision of cycling tourism and innovation are key objectives within the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
A new Mountain Bike Innovation Centre in Innerleithen will be one of the first projects to be approved.
The venue will see the historic Caerlee Mill renovated allowing companies to develop novel products and services for the cycling industry, as well as being a place for athletes to train and test the products.
The centre is being developed by South of Scotland Enterprise alongside partners Edinburgh Napier University and Scottish Borders Council.
Another project centred on cycling is the development of the 7 Stanes mountain biking destinations across the south of Scotland.
Their award-winning trails offer some of the best mountain biking in the country and attract riders from across the UK and beyond.
The Borderlands investment will help to improve the existing trail network, develop new trails and activities, and build new facilities to enhance the visitor experience.
Exploration is key to tourism and the Destination Tweed project will see the creation of a long distance walking route which also supports cycling in sections from Moffat to Berwick-Upon-Tweed.
The 113-mile trail will connect neighbouring towns and villages and will be supported by an ambitious activity programme including events, education and conservation activities for our communities and visitors to enjoy.
Led by the Tweed Forum charitable trust, the route will celebrate the assets and riches of the river, one of the UK’s most important and highly designated natural corridors.
The cross border nature of Destination Tweed highlights that our projects are not limited to north of the border.
The Hadrian’s Wall Visitor Exploration programme seeks to make the coast to coast World Heritage Site more accessible and appealing.
This is supported by a complementary initiative to improve visitor attractions along the frontier throughout Northumberland and Cumbria.
The Borderlands’ vision for Hadrian’s Wall is that by 2030 it will be the most widely recognised, appealing, and authentic visitor destination in the region.
Investment in another treasured World Heritage Site is also key to our ambitions.
See More Lake District Cycling will extend and better connect the bike network and walking routes within the National Park.
Focusing on the heart of the Lake District, plans are being developed to provide cycling infrastructure from Grasmere to Dunmail Raise and extend the already popular Keswick to Threlkeld multi-user trail to Thirlmere.
The programme recognises cycling and walking as means of travel but also as visitor activities in their own right and central to the green, low carbon visitor offer.
The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is a 10 year programme of investment to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic benefits across the South of Scotland and North of England.
It is a partnership between Cumberland Council, Dumfries & Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council, Scottish Borders Council and Westmorland and Furness Council, with funding from the UK and Scottish Governments.