The final £8million needed to build the National Indoor BMX Centre in Manchester has been invested by the North West Development Agency. The £19million centre will be the first covered venue in the UK and is expected to attract more than 120,000 users every year, and host a range of local, national and international events.
Manchester City Council has already granted £8.55m and Sport England has granted £3m, which left an £8 shortfall. Planning permission was given in September.
The BMX Centre will be built in east Manchester at Sportcity already home to the Manchester Velodrome, the National Squash Centre, the Regional Tennis Centre, the Regional Athletics Arena and the English Institute of Sport North West Support Centre – and will work alongside the adjacent Velodrome to provide the home of the GB Cycling squad across a wide range of disciplines. Together with the Velodrome they will form the National Cycling Centre.
Ian Drake, CEO of British Cycling, said: “We are delighted that all funding has now been approved for this tremendous project. The National Indoor BMX Centre will be a fantastic venue for the GB Cycling Team and will aid our preparations for London 2012. "
The BMX Centre will include a link building to the Manchester Velodrome and will comprise of a 15,300m2 building incorporating a 100x70m cycling track. It will feature space for up to 2,000 spectators, a café and office accommodation for national governing body, British Cycling.
Underpinned by medal success, and the inclusion of BMX as an Olympic sport at the 2008 Beijing Games, cycling in the UK is currently enjoying huge popularity at both elite and non-professional levels.
Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester said: "It's great news that finally we have all the funding in place as it means Manchester can yet again lead the way and deliver the world's first bespoke indoor BMX track. The arena will be the centre piece of a new Velopark offering a full range of cycling disciplines for both elite athletes and the community."
And Cllr Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council, added: "This is absolutely fantastic news for the city and will give the local community access to yet another world class sports facility. Sir Chris Hoy himself started his career as a BMXer and we hope that one day one of our own local youngsters will bring an Olympic medal home to east Manchester. This is certainly a good start."
Work will start in January 2010 and completion is expected in spring 2011.