Belfast Telegraph

Right on track, £850k north west mountain bike centre

By Michelle Weir

An £850,000 mountain bike centre is being developed in the north west to attract tourists with a taste for adventure.

Fifteen kilometres of what are described as "top class trails" are to be constructed at Garvagh Forest in Co Londonderry, starting in September.

The new tourist attraction is expected to wheel into action next May in time for the summer season.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is seeking tenders.

A public information event was held last month to discuss plans for the long-awaited regional mountain bike trail centre following initial design work and consultation with forest users in 2013.

Garvagh was identified as a key location for the development of a regional trail centre in the Mountain Bike Strategy for Northern Ireland 2014-2024.

Plans include 15kms of off-road cycling, along with improved multi-use trails to accommodate walkers and runners.

The existing car park will be extended and a bike wash will be provided.

The council said the aim of the project is to "enhance outdoor recreation provision in Garvagh Forest to accommodate a range of users while avoiding conflict between activities".

Doran Consulting has been appointed to oversee the technical aspects of the major outdoor recreation project.

Joan Baird, Causeway Coast and Glens mayor, said: "This project will greatly enhance outdoor recreation opportunities.

"We are working closely with the Forest Service and this partnership is allowing the initial concept to become a reality."

Belfast Telegraph

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