Last weekend, over 170 mountain bikers flocked back to Innerleithen's downhill routes to celebrate the start of the venue's new vehicle uplift service.

The bikers were joined by the Innerleithen Uplift Working Group which highlighted its goal of developing the downhill venue as a world class destination.

The group plans to represent the community and local businesses so that mountain bike facilities at Innerleithen go from strength to strength.

The working group comprises of community chairs, Scottish Enterprise Borders, Scottish Borders Council, Traquair Estate, Forestry Commission Scotland and a consortia of local mountain bike interests.

Hugh McKay of Forestry Commission Scotland said:

"There was a great atmosphere at the downhill venue over the weekend and it was good to see so many bikers using the routes. The new uplift system worked well so we are pleased that we can build on this success and continue to develop Innerleithen as a first class destination.

Through the Innerleithen Uplift Working Group we have a real chance to co-ordinate activities in a sustainable way and this is good for bikers, for business and of course for the Borders."

Bryan McGarth of Scottish Borders Council added:

"I welcome the effort that Forestry Commission Scotland and the local partners have put into getting the uplift service running again. A number of local businesses were adversely affected when the original uplift closed, and it has been a challenge to find a suitable alternative. I am sure that local businesses will be quick to take advantage of the increase in visitors that we can now expect."

The new service is a business venture between Forestry Commission Scotland and Uplift Scotland and is run by entrepreneur David Tallontine.

Julian Pace, Executive Director of Scottish Enterprise Borders, said:

"The new uplift facility will play a vital role in improving the facilities for users of the downhill tracks and increasing the profile of the Borders as a world class mountain bike destination. It is also a crucial first step in increasing visitor numbers to such a level that we can look at plans for a more permanent uplift facility."

For more details about the uplift service and to make bookings, call Tally on 07709 144 299.

Last weekend, over 170 mountain bikers flocked back to Innerleithen's downhill routes to celebrate the start of the venue's new vehicle uplift service.