Torbay Council has granted planning permission for brand-new facilities at the Velopark in Paignton.
Work on the new facilities which include the creation of a Community Cycling Hub, a permanent Cyclocross track for racing and a Pump Track (smooth dirt mounds) are due to start at the end of July.
Both new tracks will meet national competition standards and will not only benefit more experienced cyclists, including those at competition level, but people of all ages and abilities who enjoy cycling or who would like to try a new sport.
As well as new off road (grass, mud, and gravel tracks), new facilities will also include cycle hire and a seated viewing area looking directly over the track. Provisions will also be made for families, schools and groups representing minority interests.
The new facilities are being built following a successful joint funding application to British Cycling’s Places to Ride capital grants programme by Lex Leisure and Mid Devon Cycling Club. More than £33,000 of funding was secured, this combined with a further £28,000 from Mid Devon Cycling Club, means more than £61,000 of improvements can be made.
Following completion of the works which are expected to take a month, the facilities will be managed largely by volunteers and maintained by voluntary sector funding, with grants from British Cycling.
Several large scale events are already planned at the enhanced facility, with Mid Devon Cycling Club hosting a round of the National Trophy Cyclocross Series on 19 and 20 November. The new course and features will be a huge asset for the event, attracting over 700 racers and their families to the area over the weekend.
Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said; “I am delighted to hear that these enhanced facilities at the Velopark are being made possible. As a council, it is our goal to help all our residents to become active and healthy – facilities like this are invaluable to this ambition. Cycling is a fun and healthy way of getting active and I hope that these new facilities will encourage more people to get involved in the sport.”
Glen Hall, Parkwood Leisure, said; “We are thrilled that the project passed the final hurdle and can proceed. We are committed to the shared goal of creating a communal cycling hub and making the site more inclusive to all ages and abilities. The Velopark has become ever more popular over recent years and we are excited to see more of our local community enjoy this facility.”
Mike Gratton, Chairman of Mid Devon Cycling Club, said; “It is great news that the planning for the Velopark enhancements has been confirmed. Working in partnership with British Cycling, Torbay Council and Lex Leisure we believe that we create a holistic cycling hub that benefits everybody in the Bay. The investment we are making in cycling facilities will not only benefit the club and secure future memberships but will also benefit the local economy as we attract and host more and more cycling events.”
British Cycling’s Head of Business Planning and Transformation, Andy Farr, said; “British Cycling is really pleased to be support the brand new Pump Track and Cyclocross facility at the Velopark in Paignton. Not only will current cyclists in the local area benefit from the new facilities but it will also open up new and exciting opportunities for our growing BMX and cyclocross disciplines, allowing people of all ages and abilities to try and most importantly enjoy the sport of cycling.
“At British Cycling, we are constantly trying to make our sport more accessible and inclusive, and these new facilities are an amazing example of what can be achieved through the support and investment from our Places to Ride fund.”
The project is part of a wider Torbay Council commitment to support and nurture sport and physical activity in the Bay through its Torbay on the Move strategy. The strategy which has been created by Torbay Council, Active Devon and several community partners is aimed at getting more people, more active, more often, and making access to quality sport facilities more accessible to disabled participants, those living with mental health issues, as well as those experiencing hardship and people from hard-to-reach groups.
Learn more about sport in Torbay via: www.torbay.gov.uk/leisure-sports-and-community/sports/
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