Mountain bike trails for Garvagh Forest

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GARVAGH Forest is set to become a major tourist attraction with the introduction of mountain bike trails.

At last Tuesday’s Leisure and Environment committee meeting members backed a project which will see the introduction of trails at the rural forest.

Richard Baker, Corporate Director of Leisure Services told members that in Scotland in 2009, mountain bike tourism generation over £46 million for the economy.

He said that Garvagh was and “ideal site” as it already had established walking trails and family cycling.

He added that the trails would be purpose built and that they would not interfere with the walking routes in the well-used forest.

Mr Baker said that the nearby Jim Watt Sports Centre would be used as the starting point for the trails, which would also encourage bikers to use the facilities at the leisure centre.

Members were supportive of the project, which will be funded by Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland.

The Mayor, Garvagh councillor, Sam Cole said that the project would bring “extra footfall to Garvagh.”

His DUP colleague, councillor Adrian McQuillan also welcomed the project. “This will be welcomed by the people of Garvagh.”

UUP councillor David Harding described the project as a “fantastic idea.”