The aim is also to increase the number of cycling leisure and event visitors to the Island each year
A new Mountain Bike Trail Park will enhance 50km of existing trails and create 14km of new trails which will connect to seven plantations across the Isle of Man.
Development plans for the park have been approved by the Economic Strategy Board and it's hoped will elevate the Island's outdoor tourism offering as an established cycling destination.
The aim is also to increase the number of cycling leisure and event visitors to the Island each year.
It will be rolled out in three phases:
- Phase One will see the development of a total 64km of mountain biking trails and increased signage.
The next step will be to go to an open tender process for the work involved in delivering Phase One.
- Phase Two will support the development of a Visitor Centre consisting of cycle hire, bike shop, and recreation hub at South Barrule.
- Phase Three will look to secure private investment for a luxury glamping/lodge accommodation provision.
Deborah Heather, CEO of Visit Isle of Man, commented: "Cycling tourism is a growth opportunity for the Island, and this Mountain Bike Trail Park is testament to our commitment to making the Isle of Man a recognised cycling destination.
"Whilst the current trails are numerous, covering 50km, they are not connected to one another, nor are they well sign-posted, meaning that currently they are only used by a small percentage of locals and are not readily accessible to either visitors or the wider local population.
"We believe this project will further diversify the Island’s tourism offering, attracting mountain biking enthusiasts, adventure seekers and nature lovers alike, as well as contributing to the economic and social development of the local community.
‘As a Biosphere nation it is important that this new park reflects our commitment to sustainability, and we can confirm that all of the new mountain bike trails identified in the study will be designed to create minimal environmental impact, whilst meeting the requirements of its users."
Tim Johnston MHK, Minister for Enterprise, added: "Investing in projects which enhance the vibrancy of the Island is a key pillar of the Economic Strategy, and will support our ambitions to both attract a younger, more diverse population, as well as the commitment to create an enhanced tourism offering which supports our Island all year round, and is a valued and growing part of our Island’s proposition for both visitors and residents alike.
"The development of this Mountain Bike Trail Park will mark a significant milestone in Visit Isle of Man’s commitment to fostering outdoor recreation and boosting tourism, whilst also representing an excellent example of Government investing in initiatives that not only provide direct benefits, but also spawn business growth, private sector investment and the creation of jobs.’ Following the tender process, the work on the new Mountain Bike Trail Park is intended to commence in 2024, with completion in time for the 2025 season."