An investment of £100,000 from the Forestry Commission Scotland will put Moray firmly on the map for cycle enthusiasts.
The funding for the Moray Monster cycle course in Fochabers was welcomed on Friday by local MSP Richard Lochhead, himself a keen cyclist.
Managed by the Forestry Commission, the bike trail investment has been made possible by the Commonwealth Games legacy’s ‘Active Places Fund’ through sportScotland.
Several existing sections of the mountain bike course are to be upgraded, producing new challenges including a ‘skills area’. Work on the project is expected to be completed in time for opening to the public in September.
Mr Lochhead said: “Moray has a growing reputation as a mountain biking centre, with glorious trails that the Forestry Commission has been investing in over the last few years.
“This latest £100,000 project not only takes some of the trails to the next level, but it is specifically designed for beginners to learn some basic skills and get into what is a great sport.
“It keeps the healthy fit, blows the cobwebs away and gets people into the Moray countryside.”
Helping the MSP to launch the new initiative was Tim Walters from Active Schools Moray and young people from the ‘Go MTB’ club at Keith Grammar School.
Talking at the track at Ordiequish, Mr Walters said: “This new short loop at Ordiequish will be open to the public within the next few weeks, while work on the Whiteash trails, which will include a skills area, pump track and upgrade of the Red Route, should be complete by September.
“These trails will be a fantastic addition to Moray’s existing MTB trail network, and its central location makes it ideal for use by schools, who can use it for after-school club sessions, as well as Moray Mountain Bike Club for their coaching sessions.”