We are pleased to announce that we have recruited a Highland Mountain Bike Development Coordinator, Ruari Watt, to deliver a partnership project to develop mountain biking as a sport and industry in key destinations across the Highlands.
This exciting new co-ordinator role is to lead, facilitate and manage the delivery of the Highland Mountain Biking Development Plan 2019 – 2023 which was developed in partnership with the DMBinS Highland Mountain Bike Cluster.
The action plan has 5 interlinked workstreams which will help realise infrastructure development projects, help ensure the mountain bike community is more integrated into the care and development of a sustainable trail network, help support businesses to innovate and develop new products, support the growth potential of mountain bike tourism in the area and enhance the competitiveness of tourism businesses generally.
Ruari is very much a local, living in the area with his family. He is a well respected member of the mountain bike community and an exceptional rider.
As a mountain biker since the early 1990’s, he has seen the activity develop, and the quality of riding experiences in Scotland improve. Having previously competed in various disciplines, he now just rides trails for fun.
He has worked for bike shops, No Fuss events, and Nevis Range managing the downhill track. In his last post within Forestry and Land Scotland, he was responsible for supervising the Witches Trails, the planning and build of new trails, as well as informal trails through the area.
As well as his love for mountain biking, he explores the highlands skiing, hill and trail running, open water swimming, canoeing and mountaineering. He is also a member of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, holds Trail Cycle Leader and the Mountain Leader Award. Ruari has an unprecedented knowledge of the local landscape!
He is experienced and skilled in working in partnership with landowners, local communities, contractors and various communities across the highlands and has knowledge and experience of contract management. All of these qualities and experience will be invaluable within the new role.
We are delighted that Ruari is joining our team and we look forward to working with him and reporting the benefits his appointment will have across the Scottish Highlands.
The DMBinS Highland project forms part of the Highlands and Islands led Northern Innovation Hub (NIH), a project that received £11m from the UK Government and £1.7m ERDF support as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal. The Deal is a joint £315 million initiative supported by both the UK and Scottish governments and the National Lottery Heritage Fund through CNPA’s Cairngorms Capercaillie Project, with further funding expected by Fort William and Lochaber, Sutherland, Skye and Wester Ross.