Work starts on unique cycling facility that will offer skills and thrills to the community
Construction has started on a unique cycling facility at the YMCA’s Community & Activity Village in Newark, which will enable the local community to try a range of different cycling skills, challenges and experiences once open.
Due to complete in spring, the facility will be suitable for everyone from beginners who are learning to ride and families who want to enjoy the health benefits of cycling, through to more confident bikers who want the thrills of more adventurous tracks.
After work started in December 2022, the ‘Community Trail’, which gives people the opportunity to enjoy a longer cycling route around the Village, has already completed. Work is now underway on the ‘Pump Track’, a circular route containing rollers and banked turns, ideal for those who enjoy mountain biking and BMXing. Development of the ‘Learn to Ride’ area, which will consist of a flat and technical area for those beginning and building on their cycling skills, will commence at the end of January.
As well as donations from the YMCA Robin Hood Group, the pioneering cycling facility has been made possible thanks to funding from Sport England, British Cycling’s Places to Ride programme, and the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund.
Todd Cauthorn, Executive Director at YMCA Newark & Sherwood, said: “Our aim with the Village is to enrich the lives of young people in the local area, providing the opportunity to belong, contribute and thrive. Giving people access to a whole host of activities and experiences that they can enjoy with others is an essential part of this. This cycling facility is the latest addition to our offering – which also includes a state-of-the-art climbing centre, gym, and sports pitches – and will meet the broad needs of the community. We’re looking forward to seeing it being used and enjoyed by everyone from learners through to professionals.”
The construction of the cycling facilities is being undertaken by JB Extreme Landscapes. Established in 2017, the business is one of the UK’s leading track building companies and is run by bike enthusiast, Joe Baddeley.
Joe said: “As an avid biker who competes across the UK, I know first-hand the enjoyment the sport brings. It’s fantastic to be part of this project to bring such a high quality facility to Newark to introduce more young people and families to different cycling disciplines.”
Steve Johnson, Cycling Delivery Manager East Midlands at British Cycling, said: “Our Places to Ride initiative aims to support new provisions in local communities that will inspire people to ride, connect the community and build a lasting legacy. YMCA Newark & Sherwood’s plans are an exciting addition to the area. With so many options across the trails and tracks, it’s an inclusive offering that will be enjoyed by so many people for years to come.”
Jonathan Couves, Strategic Lead – Major Capital Investment Projects at Sport England, said: “Sport and physical activity can transform lives and bring communities together. Cycling in particular offers many physical and mental health benefits for everyone, regardless of age or ability. Whether users want to learn new skills, enjoy their hobby, spend time with friends and family, or even develop their abilities to go on to compete, this new cycling facility is sure to become a well-used and much-loved addition to Newark.”
Jessica Bridgman, Strategic Planning Surveyor for Tarmac, said: “We’re proud to play an active part in our local communities and are delighted to be able to support this exciting cycling facility through the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund.
“The project is set to inspire people to get outdoors and enjoy cycling, offering something new to local residents of all ages and abilities. It’s great to see development work now starting and we look forward to celebrating the facility’s opening later this year.”
Finley Cranidge (12) is a local BMXer who competes nationally in BMX racing and is currently ranked fifth in the Midlands and 34th in the UK for under 13’s. He said: “I’m really excited for the Pump Track to open. I’ve been racing BMX for six years and the closest track has been a 50 minute drive away. It’ll be amazing to have such a great track so close to home that will help me develop my skills and speed.”
Councillor David Lloyd, Co-Chair of Newark Towns Fund Board and Leader at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “I am delighted that this facility is coming to Newark. It will give anyone, from beginners to more confident cyclists, a chance to develop their skills and is yet another example of our commitment to shape Newark’s future. This facility is one of a number of projects being delivered to transform Newark thanks to funds secured by Newark Towns Fund Board under the Government’s Town Fund initiative.
“Our ambition is to make Newark a place to live, work and visit and this is the latest in a long line of developments at the Activity Village.
“Anything that encourages more people to cycle is a huge boost for our district and I’m sure many will share in my excitement for this new development at the YMCA Activity Village.”
The work on the new cycling facility follows the opening of the Climbing Centre at the Village, which includes an Olympic-standard speed wall, bouldering facilities and Clip n Climb.