Expansion Hopes for Green Tourism
A successful green tourism initiative is looking to expand
by creating an exciting mountain bike centre on the edge of
Newquay. The downhill facility, on a 35-acre site at Porth,
is expected to create eight new full time jobs and be sited
next to part of the national cycle network (Route 32).
The business behind the scheme, greenleisure.co.uk was established
four and a half years ago with support from the Objective
One EAGGF (European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund),
since when it has seen its levels of business increase significantly.
The firm's trademark mobile activities, marketed under the
greenleisure.co.uk brand, are its hi-tech laser games, but
it also offers expert tuition from specialists in a range
of rural pursuits including archery, clay pigeon shooting,
carriage driving, falconry, fishing, gun dog handling, and
A spokesman for the firm explained: "There is clearly
a demand for the firm's unique blend of green leisure activities
and the opportunity to develop a new downhill centre and a
selection of green leisure trails at Porth on the edge of
Newquay, Cornwall's premier tourist resort, will be of benefit
to both holiday makers and locals alike. This project is designed
to fill a gap in the cycle tourism market in Cornwall. Whilst
mountain biking has become a very successful addition to the
tourist economies of other rural areas in places such as Scotland
and Wales, both of which have seen a significant investment
in mountain biking supported by European funding, in Cornwall
the development of the two-wheeled leisure product has very
much focused on typically flat end-to-end cycle routes. This
project is designed to create a new and exciting focal point
for mountain biking in Cornwall, offering a combination of
top quality mountain bikes for hire, related accessories and
The development of the planning application has received
investment from the Objective One Rural Business Support Initiative.
South West Tourism is also backing the scheme, as it will
provide further activities for visitors to the area inside
and outside the main season. Annette Cole, the regional tourist
board's Rural Tourism specialist said: "Research has
shown that walking and cycling are some of the most popular
activities undertaken. The project will link well with the
existing SUSTRANS initiative, and will give visitors access
to the natural environment around Newquay." Work
is expected to start on the downhill centre, to be known as
Porth Shore from September, if it gets the go ahead from planners.
The application has just been submitted to Restormel Borough
Council, with a decision anticipated by the end of August.
The innovative mountain bike (mtb) centre will provide a
convenient link to the St. Piran Trail (part of the SUSTRANS
national cycle network) that runs through St. Columb Minor.
A series of circular routes, to be known as 'green leisure
trails', has been identified allowing a choice of distances,
which combine on and off road riding and a variety of challenging
rides. The circular routes range in length from 9.5k (5.9
miles) to 21k (13 miles), offering both half and full day
excursions, with ample scope to develop additional routes
beyond those proposed. In addition to the green leisure trails,
the main centre at Porth would play host to two graded downhill
courses, with a blue (beginners) run allowing instruction
and progression, to a more challenging black (experienced)
run. Popular abroad, these are only just starting to catch
on in the UK and the aim is to make this the ultimate downhill
centre in the South West.
Lindley Owen, manager of SUSTRANS in Cornwall and Plymouth,
has written a letter to support the scheme. He states: "Mountain
biking and Cornwall go so well together it is remarkable that
so few opportunities such as you propose, have been launched.
Experience elsewhere shows that there is strong and growing
demand for activity based holidays and that these are attractive
year-round. Based at Porth, you have the added advantage of
offering to surfers an equally exhilarating alternative for
days when the sea conditions are not favourable to their first-choice
David Rodda, head of the Cornwall Agricultural Council development
team said: "It is always encouraging to see a project
assisted by Objective One at the start of the Programme continue
to grow and develop. Greenleisure is an example of a business
that has identified a gap in the market and is developing
its activities to meet the identified needs by providing a
For further information please contact Clare Morgan, the
Objective One Partnership Office on 01872 223439 or 07973
813647 or email: email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall
and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Rural Business
Support Initiative through the European Agriculture Guidance
and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).
In 2004 greenleisure.co.uk was voted 'runner-up' in both
the Cornwall Tourist Board's 'Activity Holiday of the Year'
award, and in the Rural Progress 'Cornwall Farm Diversification'
The initial project greenleisure.co.uk, which was worth a
total of nearly £36,000, was approved through the Objective
One programme for a European grant of almost £9,000,
with the same sum being provided by DEFRA.
European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)
is one of the four funds that make up the Objective One Programme
for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439
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