A NEW study has shown how the West Pennine Moors could become the latest East Lancashire beauty spot to become an adventure sports hub.

Mountain biking experts believe that Tockholes and Entwistle could trail in the wake of Lee Quarry, near Bacup, in providing challenging courses to attract riders from across the north-west.

Fresh discussions are now set to take place with countryside campaign groups and mountain bike groups over advancing the plans, either on a commercial basis or through external funding.

The report by Newport-based Back-on-Track MTB Solutions, for the county council’s West Pennine Moors area manegement committee, was first commissioned in 2010 but has only now been publicly released.

Commenting on a proposed Tockholes Plantation route, the author stated: “This site is in a great position to benefit from mountain biking.

“There is a café, toilets and car park already in place, the terrain lends itself perfectly to a compact short but great fun trail which will encourage the largest number of users possible to enjoy it.”

And there could be two prospective courses around Turton and Entwistle Reservoir with a third added depending on how the initial trails fared.

Another small-scale ‘loop’ could be developed at Wilderswood, near Rivington Pike, and a site at Wheelton could link in with an existing track at Brinscall.

One site at Walkers Fold was discounted as it offered little commercial potential for development.

Coun Andy MacNae, a member of the committee, said: “It is all part of our objective to promote this part of the world for a range of cycling, in this case mountain biking, which can put us on the map.”

An estimated £30,000 to £50,000 would need to be spent on each track, depending on how much intricacy was required, and a ‘skills area’, envisaged for Entwistle, could range anywhere from £20,000 to £80,000.