MOUNTAIN-BIKING in the Borders is set for new backing from the Scottish Government.

Tourism Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, has announced this month that £50,000 of government cash will go towards the Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland project – an organisation dedicated to increasing the development and profile of mountain biking in Scotland.

Making the announcement at the Forest Tourism Summit at Glentress, where forest tourism had been identified as a driver for economic growth in the Borders, Ms Hyslop spoke of her delight at the continued expansion of the sport.

She said: “Mountain biking is an excellent example of a rapidly growing sector that presents real opportunities for Scotland.

"Our well managed great outdoors – and our forest trails in particular – mean we are well positioned as a premier mountain biking destination, for locals and visitors alike.

“Our first-class facilities, like those available at Glentress Forest, are an important tourism draw.

"Therefore I am pleased we are able to support Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland in their work to sustainably grow the sector”

Lee Cousins, Chairman of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, expressed his delight at the cash boost – saying the organisation are ‘delighted’ with the news.

He said: “Mountain biking is growing at a fantastic rate and now contributes £257m of sales into the Scottish economy annually.

"DMBinS has played an important role in supporting this growth, including improving the standards of Scottish mountain biking tourism and growing the number of participants who are involved in the sport, which is resulting in more domestic tourists.

"We are delighted that the Scottish Government is supporting us to continue to deliver the strategy with our partners across the country.”

Meanwhile, the summit also revealed that research of the mountain bike industry in Scotland confirms that, based on current trends, the Gross Value Added economic impact of the mountain bike industry was £105 million in 2015, with the potential to grow to £158 million by 2025.