Facilities Development

Facilities Development

If you are looking to develop some kind of facility based on mountain biking, then please contact the SMBC and speak to the experts in this fast developing industry. Within the range of businesses in the SMBC we have years of experience of designing, building, developing and managing mountain bike facilities.

We can provide services ranging from advice on developing an existing product to improving visitor numbers or experience; right through to full facility design and feasibility at any scale. We can also help you with strategic facility development advice; construction and maintenance of facilities and help with paperwork, including funding applications, contractor procurement and economic impact assessments.

SMBC work with the following types of landowners, managers and community groups.

  • Tourism businesses
  • Farmers
  • Estate owners
  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Local authorities
  • Highland Games
  • Event organisers
  • Community groups
  • Cycling clubs
Contact Us For Free Impartial Advice

Case Study

Comrie Croft is a successful example of rural regeneration which has mountain biking at its heart – and is all the better for it!

Comrie Croft began life as a working farm. When chickens and goats stopped paying the bills (shirkers) the then owner converted the old Steading building into a bunkhouse. Fast forward a few years and the opportunity arose for the management team to buy the land and buildings, which they did…and then the real work could start. Over the next few years, the business grew to include a 72 bed independent hostel, a popular eco-campsite and a wedding venue, which took care of the buildings. The land was a different proposition, and it’s here that mountain biking fits in.

The business had been running a small part-time bike hire fleet, and had keen mountain bikers on the staff. There was an area of land, desperately underused, of around 250 acres attached to the farm purchase. Somewhere, an idea was sparked and 2007 saw the first hand-built trails scraped out in the old felled plantation at the top of the hill, by a hardy band of staff and volunteers. The first trails, although short, proved popular with local bike riders, and helped by the running of an annual mountain bike race, the Hairy Coo, visitor numbers increased slowly but steadily.

It was enough encouragement to continue with the trails construction, and over the next 2 years the network was expanded to around 6kms of trail. It was all technical and demanding stuff however, so the business sought funding to allow for more accessible trails to be constructed, and in 2012, work began building the skills park and blue trail, which have transformed the popularity of the Croft as a mountain biking destination. More red development followed, and when the finishing touches are added by Easter 2015, there will be around 16kms of graded trails, with something for everyone, and getting tremendous feedback.

The business has benefited enormously from the increase in trail visitors. Many come to camp or stay in the hostel, and often guests who arrive bikeless will rent a bike and tackle the trails during their stay. The hire fleet is now over 80 bikes strong, the business employs 2 full-time and 1 part-time staff members, plus there is a pro-workshop and small but well-stocked bike shop selling new bikes, components and accessories. It has been a real success story and is going from strength to strength.

A lot of lessons have been learned along the way and if you are thinking of diversifying into mountain biking facilities, Colin from Comrie Croft is a founder member of the SMBC and available to consult on any aspect of the development process.