NETCO, the Aberdeenshire-based charity behind the project, is set to announce the findings of a detailed feasibility study at its annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday 15 November. Last year, the group appointed a specialist trail design consultancy to assess the potential of three sites in Aberdeenshire for the multimillion-pound development, and validate the project’s commercial viability.
The sites are: Pitfichie Forest, Hill of Fare and Durris Forest. NETCO chairman Martin Byers said: “We’re really excited about speaking to the public at our AGM next week. It gives us the first chance, since completing the feasibility study, to present a detailed insight into the scale of our ambitions and finally reveal the much-anticipated preferred location.
“It’s a huge announcement but we’re confident that the project can bring far-reaching social and economic benefits to local communities across Grampian. “And we hope that the development we’re proposing will become the focal point that is needed to draw more mountain bikers to Aberdeen city and shire, and inspire local people to participate in the sport.”
The multimillion-pound new facility is expected to include more than 40km of purpose-built mountain bike trails for all ages and abilities. A diverse range of adventure activities for families and outdoor enthusiasts could also form part of the plans.
Mr Byers added: “Aberdeenshire has amazing natural mountain biking terrain and a fantastic mountain bike community that has really embraced the idea of a hub development right from the start of our campaign. “We’re hugely grateful for all the support we’ve received, and hope that everyone who comes along to hear about the proposals will be as excited as we are about our vision for the region’s mountain bike park.”
The outcomes of a comprehensive economic impact assessment will also be presented NETCO at the meeting. NETCO was established in 2015 to drive forward plans for a hub mountain bike facility near Aberdeen – identified as a strategic priority by Scottish Cycling in its 2014-2019 facilities strategy. The group’s 2017 AGM and formal announcement of plans will take place at Transition Extreme, at Aberdeen beach, on Wednesday 15 November from 7pm-9pm.
People can register their interest to attend by visiting the NETCO Eventbrite page.