WATCH: Fergus Ewing discovers Glentress-linked business excellence

The Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, based at Glentress, near Peebles, is a magnet for pedallers – whether they be world champions or families out for a gentle ride.

The centre – run as a partnership with Edinburgh’s Napier University, the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Cycling – attracts more than 300,000 visitors per year, but it is also the fulcrum of a vast array of businesses that create innovative products for the soaring numbers of people who are taking up the sport.

Fergus Ewing MSP with local mountain biker Gary Forrest at Peel Tower at the Mountain Bike Centre at Glentress.

Fergus Ewing MSP with local mountain biker Gary Forrest at Peel Tower at the Mountain Bike Centre at Glentress.

And a recent survey of the 28 companies, ranging from textile firms and bicycle manufacturers, to companies trialling specialist equipment around the picturesque tracks, forecast a combined increase in turnover of £13.5million over the next three years, which is expected to create 69 new jobs.

This week, Fergus Ewing, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism at Holyrood, visited the centre and was treated to a showcase of all the businesses with links to the centre.

Mr Ewing said: “The Borders has really seized the initiative to pitch itself as the capital of mountainbiking in Scotland.

“I think the potential for tourism is enormous as is the potential to help young people develop their biking skills .

Fergus Ewing MSP with local mountain biker Gary Forrest at Peel Tower, part of the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland at Glentress.

Fergus Ewing MSP with local mountain biker Gary Forrest at Peel Tower, part of the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland at Glentress.

“It’s not bad for the health either, so all in all, it’s a great day for the Borders and the best is yet to come.”

One of the businesses showcased was Scottoiler, whose automatic chain lubrication system Cycle S1 was trialled at the tracks.

Another was SussMyBike, whose monitoring device gathers data required to accurately adjust your suspension for improved performance through a smartphone app.

Mr Ewing said: “I was so impressed by the variety of businesses, from special apparel for female riders, to Packa Shack – an excellent invention that can be attached to the tailgate of your car for people who want privacy or shelter to change, a special type of lubricant to keep your bike moving properly, a mechanism that checks the stability of your bike.”

Mr Ewing joked: “If I get kicked oot, I want a job as a salesman.”