Sport for England rejects £6 million funding application

Some aspects of what is intended to be the UK’s largest cycling park, near Gravesend in Kent, may have to be scaled down after Sport England rejected an initial application for £6 million of funding.

The A2 Activity Outdoor Community Sports Park, which was granted planing permission last month, is backed by Kent County Council (KCC), British Cycling and the Homes & Community Agency and is due to be completed by 2012 and to include facilities such as a BMX track, mountain bike trails and all-weather road cycling circuits.

According to a report in the newspaper Kent on Sunday, a spokesman for Sport for England said that the organisation, which has £10 million to distribute through its Sustainble Facilities Fund this year, had received 69 applications for funding worth a total of £42 million.

The Gravesend project had sought 60% of the funding available, making an award of the full £6 million unlikely, but Sport for England have confirmed that a second bid proposal can be made, with Kent on Sunday quoting their spokesman as saying “it was a good project and we’ll be working with all the people who were turned down to look at alternative methods of funding.”

On a more positive note, the newspaper reported that thanks to backers KCC, British Cycling and the Homes & Community Agency, £5 million of funding is already in place, meaning that some of the planned facilities will be built, adding that planning permission had been granted for the pavilion that will form the centrepiece of the scheme.

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.