Dales Bike Centre in Fremington, near Reeth, has been built exclusively for riders, and crucially located inside the National Park’s boundaries, somewhere that’s hard to be with the Park Authority’s scrupulous planning regulations.
Owner Stuart Price said: “I think they’re nervous of [mountain biking], the National Parks. For us it was difficult to get planning permission, they have very strict regulations on planning permission.”
The new centre, with accommodation for 14, bikewash, showers and secure storage, will allow bikers easier access to trails, operating from inside the Park.
“This place is quite different,” Stuart said. All other centres have been in Forest Parks, this is in a National Park. In a forest there are usually three or so routes to ride, here we have 800km of bridleways, natural riding.”
The centre is part-funded by grants from the Rural Enterprise Investment Programme fund as part of the Rural Development Programme for England. That funding is administered by Yorkshire Forward and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund which is managed by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.
It’s all very complicated, but means Stuart and co-owner Brenda Price have managed to tap into some of the £63 million granted to the region for investment in rural businesses in Yorkshire, something that’s boosting mountain biking across the region.
The centre is equipped to cater for solo travellers, groups, corporate events and families but dedicated to bikers.
Stuart said: “For the walking fraternity there’s no end of places to stay, B&Bs. We’re not interested in that, we wanted to do something purely dedicated for bikers.”
David Butterworth, chief executive, Yorkshire Dales National Park and County Councillor John Blackie cut the tape on the newly renovated Dales Bike Centre in Fremington, near Reeth.
The renovated barn complex, on the main Reeth road, has been designed and built to be environmentally friendly and sustainable. It has ground source heating and energy efficient appliances, everything possible is recycled or composted and all cleaners and bike lubes are environmentally friendly. The latest innovation is a bike-wash which will re-use water.
Owner, Brenda Price, is excited about the impact of their future plans: “We have a programme of events running throughout the year, which we’re sure will attract many new visitors to the area so that’s got to be good news for local businesses.”
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