Council invests in cycling for all as part of Tour of Britain legacy

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Cycle Hub artist impression

A brand new £7 million state of the art Cornwall Cycle Hub, with opportunities for residents of all ages and abilities to take part in a range of exciting, fun and exhilarating cycling activities, has taken a huge step forward.

In the week leading up to the Tour of Britain Grand Depart on September 05, which will see elite cyclists from all over the world race in Cornwall, planning permission has been granted for the fully accessible Cornwall Cycle Hub.

In a partnership between British Cycling, Cornwall Council and Sport England, the Cycle Hub, to be built on Council owned land near the Newquay Aerohub Business Park, will also be a destination for people to come and enjoy the 54-acres of enhanced natural environment.

The project is part of the Council’s investment into cycling across Cornwall.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for transport Philip Desmonde said: “We’re building a home for cycling in Cornwall so that the inspiration and legacy of the Tour of Britain will benefit Cornwall’s residents for years to come. We’re investing in more strategic and recreational cycle routes and the Cycle Hub will create further opportunities for everyone, of any ability and experience, to cycle recreationally or as a mode of transport.”

The Hub will deliver benefits for our residents, visitors and the environment. It will provide somewhere safe where trained staff can provide coaching to develop skills and bike handling for all ages and abilities. This could be from the youngest child learning on a balance bike, someone who has been referred through their GP, a child with a dream of becoming the next Laura or Jason Kenny or Sarah Storey, or someone who wants to learn how to ride their e-bike safely.

The 54-acre site will also contribute to the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan. The built areas of the Hub take up only 12% of the site, leaving a great opportunity for increasing biodiversity and habitats. The proposals include significant amounts of tree planting, wildflower areas and managed grasslands which will not only provide benefits for our environment but will create a space for visitors to the Hub to relax and enjoy and opportunities for volunteering to manage them.

Providing a National standard closed road circuit racing track and European standard BMX track also brings opportunities to host high standard events at the Hub, which will bring added economic benefits for the area.

Steve Double MP for St Austell and Newquay said: “The Cycle Hub is for everyone and encourages us all to be more active. It will not only give performance cyclists a safe place to train and race away from the road, but will also provide opportunities for residents with a disability to cycle, be a place of referral to help tackle mental and physical health issues, and a venue for schools and other groups to come and learn to ride safely.”

Dr Rob White (Chair of the Diabetic Oversight Group, GP, NHS Kernow Commissiong Group, Clinical Director for Coastal Primary Care Network) “This is what we have been crying out for in Cornwall, to enable health to refer to, engage with and support to promote all aspects of health. We cannot have enough of this type of enterprise in promoting healthy living and weight management to reverse the tide of type 2 diabetes and to support mental and physical health and wellbeing”

The planning application was submitted following a comprehensive consultation last summer with the public, schools and stakeholders, the cycling governing body British Cycling, and the Cornish cycling community. Match funding for the pre-development costs was received from the British Cycling and Sport England through the Places to Ride Fund.

Andy Farr, British Cycling Head of Business Planning and Transformation said: “We are delighted to be working with Cornwall Council and other stakeholders to bring forward this exciting development, which will provide a regionally significant hub for cycling and link into the Council’s wider plans for development of cycling at all levels. The breadth of facilities proposed will give opportunities for riders at all different stages, from learning to ride for the first time, through to cycle sport competition and training. The scope of the project will include many different cycling disciplines, including mountain biking, road cycling, BMX, cyclocross and others, meaning that there should be opportunities for everyone. The South West has traditionally been under-provided for in relation to high quality cycling facilities and this hub will be a huge step forward.”

The location adds another exciting development for the area meaning that Cornwall will be at the forefront of infrastructure across a variety of sectors.

Cllr John Fitter, member for St Columb Minor & Colan said: “I am delighted that planning permission has been granted for what will be Cornwall’s first purpose-built cycle hub. It will allow Cornwall to lead the South West of England in building a facility that will cater for all ages, from the family group to the serious single cycle rider who might one day wish to take part in the Tour of Britain. This will be a centre for all your needs which Cornwall will be proud of.”

Having now secured planning consent, the focus will shift to securing the funding in order to allow work to commence on what is expected to be a 12-month build.

Story posted September 03 2021

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