Fundraising campaign for Durris adventure complex

The mountain bike and adventure park is proposed for Durris Forest
The mountain bike and adventure park is proposed for Durris Forest

A major fundraising campaign has been announced to help progress a multi-million pound mountain bike and adventure park proposed for Lower Deeside.

The charity Gravitate North East aims to raise £150,000 in 2020 to fund the pre-construction phase of a project in Durris Forest, located between Banchory and Stonehaven.

The money raised will be used to fund planning studies, legal fees, project management costs and planning application fees.

If the campaign is successful, it will allow the scheme to move forward to the construction phase during 2021.

The charity says full construction costs for the final build are estimated at around £8.5 million.

Once complete, the facility will offer year-round mountain biking on purpose built, high quality trails.

Other activities will include tree top adventures, ziplines, a mountain coaster, nature trails and outdoor play.

Many of the activities on site will be serviced by a chairlift that will take visitors from the hub cafe area to the summit of Cairn Mon Earn.

They will be able to enjoy panoramic views stretching from the Dee Valley to the North Sea.

It is anticipated that once complete the adventure park will support around 80 new jobs and generate more than £2.5 million annually for the local economy.

Martin Byers, chairman of Gravitate North East, said: “We are at a critical point in the project that could be a challenge to fund, however the volunteer team at Gravitate have developed an innovative fundraising strategy that should allow us to progress with minimal grant dependency.”

The charity has launched a series of investment packages and public fundraising opportunities that will help it achieve its goal. One investor, eGuide Scotland, has already come forward and contributed £5,000 towards the campaign.

Mr Byers added: “We are absolutely delighted to have teamed up with eGuide Scotland as our first investor.

“They offer a unique eBike guiding service that is a great fit with our organisation.”

After a positive start to the fundraising initiative, Gravitate is now seeking further investments and donations from business and individuals to allow them to achieve their target.