The case for Bikepark Cornwall being able to deliver significant economic benefits to the Bodmin and Mid Cornwall area is very compelling. There are numerous case studies and published reports linking the development of well-specified trail centres to local economic growth and new jobs. For example Coed y Brenin in NW Wales has been shown to deliver £9.3 million per annum to the local economy. The value to the Scottish economy of mountain bike tourism, is worth £119 million per annum.
It is recognised by the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament that mountain biking has the power to deliver sustainable economic change to a locality. Both organisations have made significant investments in off road cycling facilities and market expansion programmes. Afan Forest Park near Port Talbot and Bike Park Wales at Merthyr Tydfil are good examples of how mountain bike trail centres have helped turn around the fortunes of declining mining towns. Towns not unlike Bodmin.
It is important to recognise that unlike other recreation-based projects that are often dependent on relatively small niche groups, Bikepark Cornwall has significant mass market appeal and proven demand. This latent demand has been clearly identified through results gathered from an online survey commissioned by Bikepark Cornwall in 2015. 99% answered “Yes” to the question, “Do you think that cycling and Cornwall would benefit from having a large off road trail centre”.
Market analysis by various independent and government sources shows that the cycling industry has been experiencing sustained growth over the last decade despite very difficult global economic conditions. According to a recent report published by CTC, the National Cycling Charity, 3.63 million cycles were sold in the UK in 2014. This is an increase of 8% on the previous year. According to the Department for Transport 43% of people aged five and over own or have access to a bicycle (DFT report ref NTS0608 Sept15).
With numerous site-specific and regional case studies to refer to, it is clear that the cycling industry is thriving. The trail centre model is well established in the UK and abroad and has proven to be successful.