Colchester’s newest sporting facility, the Northern Gateway Sports Park, unique in Essex in featuring a one-mile floodlit cycle track, has opened its doors today (Monday 26 April).
British Cycling, Essex County Cricket, Paddy & Scott’s Café, Colchester Rugby Football Club, Colchester & District Archery Club and Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd celebrated the official opening of the Sports Park with Councillor Theresa Higgins and the Mayor of Colchester, Councillor Robert Davidson, who cut the ribbon.
The new £28.8 million Northern Gateway Sports Park facility, which is located off junction 28 of the A12, features a cycle track, a learn to ride course and cycle pump track for children. The 76-acre sport and leisure facility also boast 3G pitches, grass rugby pitches, a multi-use sports centre, fitness suite, exercise studios, an interactive velo studio, indoor cricket, badminton, futsal and archery.
For now, the Northern Gateway Sports Park is opened at a reduced capacity due to government Covid guidelines. Residents and visitors will be able to begin a membership, explore the site, breath in the open green spaces and enjoy a take-away craft coffee and treat at Paddy & Scott’s new café.
Colchester and District Archery Club will be relocating to the Northern Gateway Sports Park later this year. They are currently based at Mile End, Colchester.
Cllr Theresa Higgins, Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, said “I am very happy to be opening this fantastic sports facility today. I have enjoyed the cycle track myself and look forward to professionals, families and people of all abilities racing along the circuit.
“There are so many sports available here to have a go at; the gym is state of the art; the sports hall is fantastic; and the velo studio is truly challenging for anyone wishing to take on the ultimate cycle experience.
“With open green spaces and craft coffee from Paddy & Scott’s I know the Sports Park will become a popular social hub for Colchester.”
The Mayor of Colchester, Cllr Robert Davidson, added “I am honoured to officially cut the ribbon and open the Northern Gateway Sports Park.
“During these difficult times health and wellbeing have never felt more important and the new facility will help the people of Colchester and visitors to lead healthier, happier lifestyles.”
Lauren Forrow, British Cycling Delivery Manager – East, said “We are incredibly excited for the opening of this trailblazing project delivered as part of our Places to Ride programme. Its opening brings an invaluable opportunity to capture the increased interest in cycling throughout lockdown and enable so many more to take part in a safe and enjoyable environment.”
The facility is part of a wider sport and leisure development at the Northern Gateway, being project managed by Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd. It has been supported by funding from groups including British Cycling, Sport England, and from England and Wales Cricket Board.
Anyone interested in finding out more about hiring the new sport facilities, starting a membership, or exploring the open green spaces which will be managed by the council, can visit colchesterleisureworld.co.uk/northerngatewaysportspark.