Cllr Richard Holmes has expressed his delight with the progress of the new mountain bike trails in Garvagh Forest which will see a £0.7m investment in the town.
“Mountain biking has increased massively in popularity over the past decade and I’m delighted to see the first mountain bike trails in the council coming to Garvagh.
“It puts Garvagh firmly on the map in the arena of adventure tourism.
“I visited a redundant slate mine in Wales in 2013 which had been turned into a tourist attraction. Alongside the visit to the pits was a mountain bike trail. I watched in astonishment as scores of cars and vans arrived with mountain bikes and riders set off on the local trails.
“Mountain biking has proved popular in other areas of Northern Ireland with Tyrone’s Davagh Forest attracting a reputed 17,000 visitors a year. Similar numbers in Garvagh will have a positive economic impact on the town.
“It has taken time to get this large investment over the line in council and local councillors have faced opposition from those in other areas of the council. But we have to ensure that we spread the economic impact of tourism as widely as possible within the Borough and mountain bike trails will help to draw visitors off the coastal routes inland to see the many gems we have in our area.
“Garvagh has a tremendous opportunity to become our leading mountain bike trail zone within the Borough. And with work scheduled to be completed by the end of June we should see plenty of activity this summer.”