Work has started on a new £750,000 purpose-built road cycling track in Leicester, which could open as early as April.
The 1km long outdoor track, to be named Leicester Cycle Circuit, is being built on land at New College Leicester, funded by British Cycling (BC), New College Leicester, and Leicester City Council.
The closed road facility will be floodlit and fenced, and will provide a traffic-free space for recreational, training and competitive use. Construction will take approximately four months.
British Cycling’s director of coaching, education and development, John Mills, said: “Our aim is to create a network of traffic-free cycling facilities across the country, allowing people of all ages and abilities to build their cycling skills and confidence. The Leicester Cycle Circuit will allow the people of the city to do just that, and we look forward to seeing local people taking up this opportunity when the circuit is operational.”
The track is one of three cycle facilities into which British Cycling announced last year it would invest a total of £900,000. Hull will receive funding from BC, Hull City Council and Hull Culture and Leisure Trust for a new closed road track, while Reading’s Palmer Park Velodrome is being refurbished, with funds from BC and Reading Borough Council.
Cllr Adam Clarke, assistant city mayor for energy and sustainability at Leicester City Council, said the facility will be available to all ages and backgrounds, from children and young people to adults. The track will also become home to a local Wheels For All project, part of a national programme which encourages people with disabilities to try out specially adapted bikes.
“We’re very pleased to be working in partnership with British Cycling and New College Leicester and to invest in this exciting project,” said Clarke. “Cycling is vital to addressing Leicester's health and transportation challenges as well as being a sport that produces inspirational Olympic stars. By providing the perfect place to practise traffic-free, people will be able to develop new skills and confidence whilst enjoying this state of the art facility."
Wayne Allsopp, business development manager at New College Leicester, said: “This will be a great facility for the city and a fantastic addition to our sports village. We already have more than 2,500 regular community sport users and we hope that the cycle circuit will bring even more people to our outstanding facilities.
“We’re very committed to sports development and are dedicated to placing the college at the heart of our local community and at the heart of the city’s sporting landscape.”