AMBITIOUS plans for a new £3 million mountain bike and adventure centre are set to be submitted to council planners.
Located on the site of the former Lothianburn golf course, south of the City Bypass, the team behind the plans hope to cash in on the thousands of mountain bikers who pass en route to Glentress in the Borders each year.
The proposed development, first revealed in the Evening News last year, is to include trails for riders of all abilities, from beginners to competitors.
Developers say income from attractions such as a 600-metre long “roller luge” – featuring buggies designed to speed down a specially designed track – will support public access to the bike trails.
They estimate that no more than 500 bikers regularly make use of the hills but have identified a potential market of around 310,000 users across Edinburgh and the Lothians.
The Swanston Farm site, formerly the home of the golf course until it closed in December 2013, will also boast a jumps track, skills loop, a pump track, a zipline trail, forest skills and bushcraft demonstrations and overnight lodges, pods and camping, plus a shop and cafe.
Alastair McClung, from the farm, believes the site is perfectly situated to attract Edinburgh riders whilst also appealing to beginners and children.
Mr McClung said: “Swanston Farm is keen to increase public access at Lothianburn and provide a range of adventure sports accessible to all.
“We are also involved in ongoing discussions with Midlothian ski centre to work together so both sites can provide an integrated adventure leisure destination on the edge of the city for the people of Edinburgh, the Lothians and beyond.”
It is hoped that a planning application will be submitted later this year, following a period of public consultation.
Work could then commence in 2016, with phased development over the following years.
Lothianburn, one of the Capital’s oldest golf courses, was forced to close due to its steadily dwindling membership.
The decision to close the club, which has a proud history dating back to 1892, came as the membership roll fell to 300 – just eight years before the club had boasted more than 800 members.