British Cycling has announced that work will start next month on a new closed road circuit in Lancashire that will bear the name of local sports hero, two-time Olympic gold medallist, Steven Burke.
The £300,000 project in Pendle – the borough that hosted the 2010 road national championships – is being carried out in partnership with Sport England, Pendle Council and Cycle Sport Pendle.
Stage 1 of construction of the Steven Burke Closed Road Circuit will be completed by March and a second phase of work, which will see the addition of a car park, pavilion and lights that will enable the facility to be used over the winter, is scheduled to be finished in August.
“British Cycling is very pleased to partner with Pendle Council and other funders to build this fantastic new cycling facility,” said the governing body’s chief executive, Ian Drake.
“The new circuit will allow many more young people in the North West to participate in cycling and help develop the sport in the region even further.
“Last year we made significant progress in delivering new facilities with closed road circuits opening in Bath and York and a Mountain Bike trail in Manchester.
“But in order to continue to build participation we need to create a new network of traffic-free cycle sport facilities with appropriate facilities such as this.
“We are very excited with the development and look forward to the opening in 2014,” he added.
The circuit will be located at Swinden Playing Fields, putting it within easy reach of Nelson, Colne and Barrowford, and will be used by everyone from schoolchildren and newcomers to road racing through to experienced cyclists, as well as people requiring adapted bikes via the Wheels For All project.
Burke, who comes from Colne, said: “The Hub will be fantastic for Pendle and for getting boys and girls into cycling. It’s a great sport that will stay with them for life.”
One of the prime movers behind the scheme is Peter Boast of Cycle Sport Pendle, who has spent five years trying to turn what was a dream into reality.
He said: “It’s been a great team effort and it’s fantastic that our vision of a wonderful hub for cycling, including coaching, racing and cycling for leisure, will become a reality.
“Pendle Council, Colne and Nelson Area Committees and the Lancashire Environment Fund have already provided £150,000 for this new facility.
“The additional funding from British Cycling means we can start work!”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.