by Ben Haworth
July 2, 2009
The £250,000 facility – built by the Kielder Partnership – will be operated by Purple Mountain.
Earlier this year a 17 kilometre `red trail’ was unveiled together with the 26 mile Lakeside Way – allowing bikers, walkers and horse riders to circumnavigate northern Europe’s biggest man-made lake.
Elisabeth Rowark, Director of the Kielder Partnership, said: “We are forging ahead with brilliant new trails, but we need to match them with world class facilities and the bike centre fills this role. It will be a magnate for bike fans of all abilities – from novice to expert – helping exploit the immense interest in off-roading in Kielder Water & Forest Park.”
Purple Mountain is owned by 34 year old Vicky Griffin, who started her own bike hire concern as a 17 year old in the North York Moors village of Castleton. Since 2006 she has run the hugely successful Dalby Forest Bike Centre on the Forestry Commission estate near Scarborough.
She added: “This is a massive move for us, but we are absolutely thrilled by the challenge. There’s a fantastic vibe in Kielder Water & Forest Park with so much happening. The new trails are top notch and there’s nowhere else in England where you can have such an exhilarating day in the saddle with the added chance of spying red squirrels, goshawks and even ospreys into the bargain.”
The Kielder Bike Centre opens daily from 9am to 5.30pm (6pm in August). To find out more go to www.purplemountain.co.uk
Councillor Isabel Hunter, executive member for culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are really pleased that the investment in Kielder Water & Forest Park is resulting in new business opportunities such as this. This is an important part of improving the tourism economy, providing more opportunities for visitors to have a fantastic holiday experience while maximising the potential of Northumberland.”
For more details on bike trails in Kielder Water & Forest Park log-on to www.visitkielder.com