Work has began on the construction of a $1.99 million mountain bike park at Harcourt.
The high standard mountain bike park will see 34 kilometres of trails with track grades that will cater to all levels of users. The trails will be well signposted and accessible by new connections to Harcourt, and the park will also provide a meeting point and toilets. Construction is expected to be completed by early 2018.
There is an established mountain bike culture in the region and Mount Alexander is informally known as a place for riders to visit, but is in need of major upgrades to bring it up to a standard to meet the growing interest.
The Victorian Government has committed $1.99 million to build the bike park. The investment is expected to generate 25,000 visitors in 2018 and 100,000 a year within five years. These visitor numbers are expected to create new jobs and open up a new tourism stream for the region, as well as many business opportunities. Annual visitor spending is estimated to reach $2.4 million in 2018 and up to $9.8 million after five years. The project is also projected to spark spending in bike related services, accommodation and the hospitality sector.
The Victorian Government is supporting the project through its $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund.
Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards said the start of construction of this world class mountain bike park was an exciting time for Harcourt and the Mount Alexander region.
"It signals the beginning of a great opportunity to grow tourism in the area as well as being a terrific facility for locals to enjoy," Ms Edwards said.
"I'm proud to be part of this project that will put Mount Alexander on the map as a mountain bike destination of choice."