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On track to help Nelson future cycle stars
YOUNG wannabe Bradley Wiggins and Stephen Burkes could benefit from a new cycle track around popular parkland in Nelson.
Plans are being drawn up for a one kilometre- long multi-purpose trail to be established around Swinden playing fields.
And, if successful, a series of cycling changing rooms will be established for the next generation of Tour de France hopefuls.
The winding lanes of Pendle are already a training mecca for professional circuit cyclists, and Colne hosts a grand prix leg each year.
Borough council regeneration director Brian Cookson is president of British Cycling, and a round of the road race championships took place around Pendleside in 2010.
But the Swinden proposals, around the perimeter of the site, will cater for everyone, from competitive types to leisure riders.
Coun Nadeem Ahmed, recreation executive member, said: “We’re currently working on a bid to Sport England for funding from its Inspired Facilities progr-amme to create a cycle track around the playing fields, and upgrade existing changing facilities there, subject to match funding being identified.”
Further consultation would be undertaken on the blueprints if the cash is secured, it has been pledged. Philip Mousdale, the council’s deputy chief executive, said: “Our ultimate aim is to provide a multi-use track in open countryside with access to outward routes and towpath leisure rides, and a venue with outstanding opportunities for cycling for everyone. including people with disabilities.
“The facility would help produce the next generation of cyclists, competitive and non-competitive, while also encouraging everyday healthy activity.”
Under the scheme, six out of the 14 football changing rooms would be converted for cycling use. And the remaining football changing rooms would also be overhauled, alongside the car park. The bid, which has not yet been fully costed, will be lodged by mid-September, and a decision is expected before Christmas.