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£19million National Indoor BMX Centre

You might have read about this else where but I’ve just found it in my inbox. Sounds like good news for the BMX race crew, especialy if you live near Manchester.
I know BMX is an Olympic sport but I can’t help thinking that £19 million would have built a rather nice chair lift and cafe in South Wales.

I’ll give the BC a phone and get a break down on the costs.

The final £8million needed to build the National Indoor BMX Centre in Manchester has been invested by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

The £19million National Indoor BMX Centre will be the first covered venue in the UK and is expected to attract over 120,000 users every year. It will host a range of local, national and international events.

Manchester City Council has already granted £8.55million and Sport England granted £3million, which left an £8million shortfall. Planning permission was given in September.

The BMX Centre will be built in east Manchester at Sportcity, which is already home to the Manchester Velodrome, the National Squash Centre, the Regional Tennis Centre, the Regional Athletics Arena and the English Institute of Sport North West Support Centre, together with six regional or national governing bodies.

The BMX Centre will work alongside the adjacent Velodrome to provide the home of the GB Cycling squad across a wide range of disciplines. Together with the Velodrome they will form the National Cycling Centre.

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA, said:

“The National Indoor BMX Centre will bring yet another world class sporting venue to East Manchester which will create new job opportunities for local residents and enhance Sportcity’s reputation as an international destination for sports events.

“The opportunity to invest in the BMX Centre and to further invest in Sportcity will take the combined facilities to a new level, setting the standards for sport locations to a level unmatched anywhere in Europe.”

The BMX Centre will include a link building to the Manchester Velodrome and will comprise of a 15,300m2 building incorporating a 100x70m cycling track. It will feature space for up to 2,000 spectators, a café and office accommodation for national governing body, British Cycling.

British Cycling currently employs 100 training and management positions based in Manchester, and introduction of the BMX facilities will safeguard over 140 jobs and secure the city’s status as its headquarters and primary training centre.

As part of its planned expansion, British Cycling will also be creating over 50 new jobs to be accommodated within the BMX centre (alongside the creation of 12 jobs associated with the building’s operation).

With over 200 employees after its planned expansion, this will make British Cycling one of the largest employers in East Manchester.

Additionally, by strengthening Manchester’s reputation as a location for sport, the BMX Centre will act as a catalyst for business development. The intention is that it will attract advanced cycling and wider performance enhancement technology firms into the region.

This will allow for development of the sports cluster, generating economic and reputational benefits for East Manchester and the Northwest.

Ian Drake, CEO of British Cycling, said: “We are delighted that all funding has now been approved for this tremendous project. The National Indoor BMX Centre will be a fantastic venue for the GB Cycling Team and will aid our preparations for London 2012. As a community facility, it will also offer local youngsters a rare opportunity to train alongside British BMX stars, inspiring future generations of riders and growing the discipline at grass roots. In addition, the purpose built office in the middle of the two facilities will provide plenty of space to accommodate our growing team and allow the GB Cycling Team to optimise the space within the Velodrome for elite performance.”

Underpinned by medal success, and the inclusion of BMX as an Olympic sport at the 2008 Beijing Games, cycling in the UK is currently enjoying huge popularity at both elite and non-professional levels.

Development of the National Indoor BMX Centre will allow Manchester to broaden the range of high profile national and international events it is able to secure, as well as supporting the country’s elite athletes and providing facilities for the local community.

The new BMX Centre is expected to attract over 20,000 spectators from the UK and further afield every year, on top of an estimated 120,000 users of the facilities each year.

It is anticipated that the centre will host 10-12 events every year. The events programme is proposed to include high profile events such as the UCI Supercross BMX World Cup, the UEC European Championships Rounds and the BC National BMX Championships.

However, in addition to traditional BMX and supercross uses, the centre will host a wider events programme including netball, basketball and badminton competitions.

GB Cycling Squad and national BMX team

One of the key objectives of the BMX Centre is to support Manchester and the Northwest’s contribution to the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games by providing better facilities for some 60 elite athletes, including 20 involved in BMX and related disciplines and 40 in the main cycling squad.

The national BMX team will also use the BMX Centre as a training base which will be important to athletes’ preparations for major events including London 2012 and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester said: “It’s great news that finally we have all the funding in place as it means Manchester can yet again lead the way and deliver the world’s first bespoke indoor BMX track. The arena will be the centre piece of a new Velopark offering a full range of cycling disciplines for both elite athletes and the community. Not only will this investment consolidate Manchester’s position as the home of British cycling, but it will further enhance the City’s cultural and sporting offer, attributes that are vital for Manchester to excel on the global stage.”

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for the city and will give the local community access to yet another world class sports facility. We place a great deal of emphasis on nurturing and supporting our young sporting talent and I’m delighted that we are now able to provide them with even more opportunities. Sir Chris Hoy himself started his career as a BMXer and we hope that one day one of our own local youngsters will bring an Olympic medal home to east Manchester. This is certainly a good start.”

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