Phase one of an exciting new Urban Bike Park in south Leeds has officially opened this month.
Funded by Leeds City Council, British Cycling and Sport England, the new £1.2m cycling hub situated in Middleton Park will, when completed after three different phases of work, boast a fantastic range of family-friendly facilities and activities for people of different cycling experience.
On offer now to the public as part of phase one includes:
- A cross country mountain bike trail available to the public for casual use and for cross country mountain bike competitions, which when completed will be 6km in length. The trails are set into three zones: green trails cater for beginners, blue trails offer a moderate difficulty level and red trails are suitable for more proficient mountain bikers with good off-road skills and fitness.
- A pump track/mini pump track which will cater for both experienced and less experienced riders.
- A revamped and extended former golf clubhouse building which will provide extra space for community activities and educational programmes. The vision is to provide a facility which will offer both physical and social activities that meet the needs of the local community. Through the hub, local residents will be able to access not just a social space, but education and training opportunities. A community café will also be available during evening and weekends when events and activities are taking place.
To support the introduction of the new cycling facilities, a number of aesthetic improvements will also been made to the park. This includes the installation of a number of new footpaths and upgrade of existing walkways. Additional car parking is also now available. Work on phase two of the Urban Bike Park is set to commence in the near future.
The introduction of an Urban Bike Park will underpin and reinforce Middleton Park’s reputation as an important and much loved community resource by people of all ages. Annually the park currently attracts in excess of two million visits per year.
Joining the leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Judith Blake at the official opening were representatives from Sport England and British Cycling.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake, said: “It is very exciting news that work on phase one is completed and members of the public will have the opportunity to use and enjoy a number of fantastic facilities now on offer at Middleton Park’s fantastic new Urban Bike Park. In Leeds we are extremely proud of our green spaces, and the introduction of a cycling hub at Middleton Park is a tremendous addition to our city-wide offer.
“Available now are a designated mountain bike trail offering three different levels of trails and BMX pump and mini pump track which promise to be great fun for people of all experiences and ages. Through the refurbishment of the old golf clubhouse, there is now also a larger space available for use by local groups, which will make the park a real focal point for the south Leeds community.
“Since plans were approved for the cycling hub, an incredible amount of work has been undertaken by the council, British Cycling and Sport England to start making this ambitious plan a reality. I would like to thank all our partners for their help and also their generous funding towards the facility. We look forward to beginning work on phase two and then phase three of the project, which will see a raft of new facilities being made available at the Urban Bike Park.”
Jonny Clay, British Cycling’s director of cycling, said: “The completion of phase one of work on the Leeds Urban Bike Park is a very exciting milestone. One of the many reasons for cycling’s growth in popularity in recent years is the diverse range of ways in which people can enjoy riding their bike, be that recreationally, for transportation or competitively.
“This facility will not only allow people to experience cycling in many of its forms, but will be a true asset to the community, giving children, families and beginners – alongside more experienced riders – the chance to enjoy one of the city’s green spaces in a different way.”
Charles Johnston, Sport England’s director of property, said: “We’re delighted to have helped improve the sporting facilities at Middleton Park. When Sport England invest in facilities the local people and their needs are at the heart of our decision. We were impressed by how Leeds City Council have been working in partnership with the local community, as well as British Cycling and Sport England, to redevelop Middleton Park. The Urban Bike Park is designed to be a family friendly, high-quality cycling destination that’s welcoming to everyone – no matter if you’re an experienced mountain biker or about to go on your first bike-ride.
“The former golf clubhouse has also been transformed into a cycle hub so it’s now fit for the whole community to use. Ultimately we hope more people will be inspired to be active by these high-quality facilities.”
Jeremy Hayes, director, Cycle Pathway, said: “For over two decades this has been a pipe dream, to have a cycling facility which includes all the elements we’ve created here; BMX & Pump track, MTB trails, café, shop, education and community facilities. This is nothing less than a dream come true for me and an unbelievable facility for the local community and people of Leeds.”
About Sport England: Sport England is a public body and invests more than £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.
It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active – like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.
About British Cycling: British Cycling is one of the world’s leading national governing bodies thanks to our ability to harness mass participation from international success. The organisation oversees all forms of cycling in Britain. Whether you are a competitor in one of the six sporting disciplines, (BMX, mountain bike, cyclo-cross, road, track and cycle speedway) a personal challenge rider, a commuter or a leisurely weekend rider, we are committed to helping you enjoy cycling.