Preferred bidders announced for Glentress Peel project

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Two companies which have a track record in serving the outdoor leisure market and mountain bikers are to begin detailed discussions with Forestry Commission Scotland to run services at the Glentress Peel visitor centre.

After a rigorous tendering exercise, the preferred bidders to run the new bike shop and café in the visitor centre complex are:

• Bike Shop: Alpine Bikes
Alpine Bikes Ltd is Scotland's leading independent cycle retailer, founded twenty-two years ago in Aberdeen and now based in Edinburgh. It has nine shops, including three within Tiso Outdoor Experience stores. Its business has developed around mountain biking, dealing with brands such as Trek, Genesis, Santa Cruz and Orange. It now also incorporates road and urban bikes along with an extensive range of clothing and accessories.

• Café: GT Restaurants Ltd
This is a new Peebles based company which has been set up by Claire and Olivier Bony, the owners of the Glentress Hotel. They already run a number of businesses including the Hotel’s popular restaurant and self catering units in Peebles. Their local presence, coupled with the Hotel being situated at the entrance to the forest, has given them valuable experience of catering for the mountain bike and visitor market for a number of years.

The Commission will now enter formal discussions with the two companies so that contracts can be completed – this will take a few weeks. More details of what the companies plan for the café and bike shop are likely to emerge after contracts are signed.

Bill Meadows, the Commission’s Forest District Manager for Dumfries & Scottish Borders said:

“We’ve undertaken a very thorough, open and fair tender for commercial opportunities and I’m very pleased that the process has produced two companies which have many years of experience in the mountain bike and outdoor leisure market.

“Both have shown a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and innovation in their tenders and demonstrated they are keen supporters in making Glentress a top class visitor attraction.”

Bryan Shedden, Director of Alpine Bikes, said:

"I am thrilled that Alpine Bikes has been offered the tender to run the bike shop at Glentress Peel. Through our shop at Innerleithen we already have sponsorship relationships with local events and clubs and expect to build on this commitment throughout the Tweed Valley.

“With over 22 years of experience in the bike industry, and following our recent acquisition of the summer lease for bike hire at Nevis Range, this appointment further secures our positioning as Scotland's premium bike retailer and hire centre provider. We look forward to working with Forestry Commission Scotland and the other tenants to make Glentress Peel a resounding success."

Claire Bony of GT Restaurants Ltd added: 

“Olivier and I are delighted to be offered the opportunity to be part of something as fantastic as the new Glentress Peel development. 

“We are very much looking forward to working with Forestry Commission Scotland and the other site partners to create a 5-star visitor attraction, which can only be of benefit to the many users of the forest park and to our local community.” 

Glentress Peel is due to open later in the Spring. The Commission is committed to working with The Hub for the remainder of their agreements. The Hub’s bike shop permission runs out end of February 2011 and the café lease in February 2012.

For more detail on the Glentress Peel project, the tendering process, including the documentation used, log on to

Notes to news editors

1.   Forestry Commission Scotland works as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate.

2.  Alpine Bikes:

3.  GT Restaurants Ltd:

4.  Media enquiries to:

Forestry Commission Scotland: Steve Williams 0131 314 6508 or
Alpine Bikes: Pippa Thackray 0131 554 9101 or
GT Restaurants Ltd: Claire Bony 0770 2000 250.