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Work starts on £24 million National BMX Centre

What do we think about this then? It’s expensive. Will it encourage more kids to start cycling? Will it include dirt jumps? Will it include a 4x track? Will current 4x riders switch to BMX for a bid at an olympic medal? Will it have an integral downhill track with elevator uplift? How much for a Mocha and biscuit? Will Shanaze win a 2010 Gold? Will Shanaze ever race World Cup 4x? How many community pump tracks could be built around the country?

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Shanaze Reade breaks new ground as work starts on National Indoor BMX Centre

Olympic BMXer, Shanaze Reade joined school children from Ashbury Meadow Community School in Beswick, east Manchester, for a ground-breaking ceremony as work starts to build the world’s first purpose-built indoor BMX track.

British Cycling and Manchester City Council, in partnership with New East Manchester, are working together to deliver the 110,000 sq foot National Indoor BMX Centre at Sportcity.

With the existing Manchester Velodrome, and improved public spaces, the new £24 million complex will form the National Cycling Centre. It will include a 2,000 seater capacity BMX area and offices for the headquarters of British Cycling.

Designed by Ellis Williams Architects, the work will be carried out by contractors Sir Robert McAlpine.

The facility is funded by Manchester City Council (£8.55 million), the Northwest Regional Development Agency (£8 million) and Sport England (£3 million).

An additional £5million is announced today to create the high quality public spaces that will serve the National Cycling Centre and other local venues. The funding will provide new cycle-ways and footpaths linking the new and existing developments; a footbridge over the Ashton Canal and throughfare to the new Metrolink stop; open public spaces, better site access and new lighting and landscaping.

The £5 million public realm works are jointly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency and the European Regional Development Fund.

Shanaze Reade commenting on the new centre said: “Having the national indoor BMX centre in east Manchester, right on my doorstep, is fantastic. I can’t wait to train here to try and get a gold medal at London 2012.  I also really hope it encourages more local kids to take up the sport.”

Eddie Smith, Chief Executive of New East Manchester said: “East Manchester is the home of British cycling and this scheme will take this partnership to a new level.  The national indoor BMX centre will sit beside the Manchester Velodrome and a new velopark offering a full range of cycling disciplines for both elite athletes and the community.  Employing over 160 people, this new complex will add to the range of world class sporting facilities we have at Sportcity.”

Ian Drake, British Cycling’s Chief executive said: “Today brings us a step closer to the completion of the National Indoor BMX Centre which will be a fantastic training and competition facility for British Cycling and aid the GB Cycling Team’s preparations for London 2012. As a community facility, the centre will also offer local young people and adults an opportunity to train alongside British BMX stars, inspiring future generations of riders and growing the discipline at the grass roots. We also look forward to the opening of a new purpose-built British Cycling office when the project is complete in 2011.”

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA, said: “Sportcity forms a core element of regeneration activity in East Manchester, delivering not only physical but also economic and social change. The new BMX arena will further enhance the city’s profile as a centre of sporting excellence, providing the type of world class facilities and elite athletes that attracts wider investment.

“It is excellent that work has begun and that we can announce new investment which will support a range of developments that will generate employment, reinforce the role of sporting activity as an economic driver for the area, enhance the leisure and tourism offer of Manchester and serve to further raise the area’s profile.”

Sport England’s Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: “The BMX Centre will bring high-quality sporting opportunities to both elite riders and the community, helping us to deliver a lasting Olympic and Paralympic legacy of increased participation. The plans have the firm support of British Cycling, which will use the facilities to identify and nurture the next generation of BMX stars. To secure investment from our Sustainable Facilities Fund, this project has demonstrated that it will meet local sporting needs and safeguard long-term sports provision.”

The building will be completed by April 2011.

The ERDF programme is backed by the Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC) – a group of senior representatives from across the region. The Group was formed to monitor, oversee and advise on the delivery of the programme and proved invaluable to the development of the new fund.
For more details about New East Manchester visit www.neweastmanchester.com

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