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Forest chiefs seek business partner to help develop cycling in Kielder Water & Forest Park

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Mountain biking in Cardinham Forest

An exciting business opportunity has arisen in Kielder Water & Forest Park to be part of one of Northern England's most exciting tourism developments.

The Forestry Commission is seeking a partner to run the Kielder Cycle Centre, offering a full range of cycling services including cycle hire and helping to develop mountain biking for people of all abilities.

The 62,000-hectare (155,000-acre) Northumberland beauty spot has emerged as a major cycling destination. Over the past seven years, 120 kilometres of acclaimed trails have been built, ranging from family-orientated routes such as the Lakeside Way to the intermediate Osprey Trail and the famed, black-rated, Deadwater Fell run, the highest off-road route in England. Visitor numbers are growing and now stand at 345,000 a year. The venue has also been shortlisted by the North East England Tourism Awards in the tourism experience category.

Alex MacLennan, Forestry Commission public affairs manager for North East England, explained:

"This rugged wilderness is mountain bike heaven, offering some of the best singletrack trails in the UK, with breath-taking views.

"We are seeking a partner who can match our ambitions and help us take cycling on to the next level. We would anticipate the Kielder Cycle Centre will be up and running by late spring, ready for the new season.

"A vast amount of development has been invested in Kielder Water & Forest Park, which has lured bikers of all abilities and attracted major competitions such as the Montane Kielder 100-mile race, the UK's longest single-lap race. This is a wonderful opportunity to be part of a success story and help shape exciting future developments."

To download the tender document and guidance notes please visit Tenders must be submitted together with a business plan no later than 8 February 2013.  Registrations of interest in tendering must be submitted by 28 January 2013.

Further details and hard copies of the documents can also be obtained from: Alex MacLennan, Recreation & Public Affairs Manager (North East England), Forestry Commission, Eals Burn, Bellingham, Northumberland NE48 2HP; tel. 01434 220242; email:

Note to Editor:

  • Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests in England, and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. To find out more go to

Media calls: Richard Darn, 07753 670038.