The Colchester Northern Gateway Sports Park development has been awarded £590,000 from Places to Ride, the capital grants fund delivered by British Cycling and Sport England designed to create a lasting legacy from the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.
The £590,000 will contribute to the delivery of a cycle track in the north of Colchester. The development will strengthen the borough’s cycling infrastructure whilst forming part of the sports facilities that will be managed by Leisure World for Colchester Borough Council.
The trailblazer project has been made possible through a commitment from the UK Government, with Places to Ride delivered over the next two years through a unique partnership between British Cycling, Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).
The Places to Ride programme will fund the development of new – like in Colchester – or the improvement of existing cycling facilities in communities across England, continuing the legacy of the UCI Road World Championships.
With contribution from Colchester Borough Council it will fund the development of Northern Gateways new cycle track to engage with a broad spectrum of cyclists across the community.
Cllr Theresa Higgins, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, said: “We are thrilled that £590,000 has been awarded to the Colchester Northern Gateway Sports Park development by British Cycling. Cycling is a great way for residents and visitors to stay fit and active.
“This is an important step towards improving access to health and wellbeing activities in Colchester and strengthens the partnership between the Council and British Cycling.”
The new cycling facility is unique in Essex, with a 1-mile track consisting of 6 loops. The track will provide leisurely cyclists a safe space to ride their bikes, whilst providing serious cyclists with a facility to challenge themselves and to improve.
Andy Farr, Head of Facility & Investment Strategy at British Cycling, said: “This new cycle track in Colchester is the second project we have funded through Places to Ride, and marks the start of an exciting few years for the fund and the lasting legacy the UCI Road World Championships will bring to the country.
“We want to work with any organisation that is developing cycling in their community, and this facility is a brilliant example of that ambition. We have no doubt that this new facility will be welcomed by everyone in the region and will ensure the effect of the championships is felt far beyond the boundaries of Yorkshire.”
Anyone who is interested in finding out more about hiring the new Colchester Northern Gateway sports facilities should visit www.colchesterleisureworld.co.uk/northerngatewaysportspark and complete the expression of interest form.
The initial phase of the development comprises 76 acres of innovative and exciting sports and leisure facilities and will deliver extensive provision for cycling including a 1-mile floodlit cycle track with a dedicated learn to ride area. In addition, the Park boasts a multi-use sports centre, housing indoor cricket, fitness suite, exercise and spin studios, a café and meeting rooms.
The wider development also includes new state-of-the-art rugby facilities, two all-weather pitches, additional grass pitches and an archery range. Construction has started on the development by contractors R G Carter, with Colchester Amphora Trading managing the build of the development and is due for completion in early summer.
For people who are interested in requesting a Place to Ride fund, for both small and large-scale projects, should visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/placestoride.