The £500,000 Welsh Assembly grant awarded last week to the Marsh Tracks project at Rhyl in North Wales means that the first phase of the cycle circuit - the road circuit - can be completed by this July!
This sum completes the £1 million match funding package and will enable the disused landfill site to be turned into the North Wales Cycling Centre of Excellence. It will be a multi-use cycling circuit comprising road circuit, BMX track, club house with cafe, plus changing facilities and meeting room.
Announcing the funding, Jocelyn Davies, the Deputy Minister for Housing and Regeneration, said: "I am delighted to announce funding for this excellent project. The Marsh Tracks North Wales Cycle Centre offers everything that a good regeneration project should. It will improve a run-down area both physically and environmentally; provide local jobs and training opportunities during and after construction; give the local community a valuable leisure facility and attract tourists to the area."
He was especially impressed because the idea belonged to the local community recognising a need and taking steps to address it. "I wish Glan Morfa Cycling Association the very best of luck with their venture and look forward to seeing the finished product."
Jon Harland, Marsh Tracks Company Secretary and member of Rhyl CC, said: "There are many people to thank for us getting to this stage, from our architectural draughtsman Paul Crabbe who drew up our original ideas into coherent plan form, to the late Cliff Prout MBE, who was instrumental in helping us get on the funding road before his sad passing in September last year. "
A major contribution was made by the Rhyl Cycling Club Memorial Fund, set up to the memory of the four club members who were killed four years ago, when an out of control car skidding on ice, swept the clubrun off the road.It was the UK's worst cycling tragedy in living memory.
"This latest funding from the Welsh Assembly Government is the boost we needed to put us on track to deliver this exciting project," says Harland.
"We now have the opportunity in Rhyl to capitalise on a golden age for cycling and cycle sport in the UK, and opening it up to the masses in a traffic-free environment. As a not-for-profit company we will be running a viable and vibrant facility at no profit to individuals that could be open for business before the end of 2010."
Steve Parker, Denbighshire's Head of Environmental Services, said: "This is an ambitious scheme that will provide much needed facilities for the local community and the cycling facility is one of a number of key projects on-going as part of Rhyl's regeneration.
- The Welsh Assembly Government's contribution to the scheme will be matched with funding of £250,000 from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, £250,000 from WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental) and funding and support from Denbighshire County Council who will project manage the construction scheme
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Keith Bingham joined the Cycling Weekly team in the summer of 1971, and retired in 2011. During his time, he covered numerous Tours de France, Milk Races and everything in-between. He was well known for his long-running 'Bikewatch' column, and played a pivotal role in fighting for the future of once at-threat cycling venues such as Hog Hill and Herne Hill Velodrome.
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