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Bike park plan to be considered this evening

Health, leisure and parks

12 October 2021

Cyclist on a BMX bike

Cabinet members are set to decide this evening (Tuesday 12 October) on whether plans for a bike park near the village of Hardingstone should proceed.

The project is being progressed by West Northamptonshire Council in partnership with Northamptonshire Sport, Sport England and British Cycling.

If agreed, it could see the creation of a free-to-use facility for mountain biking enthusiasts across West Northamptonshire and further afield.

Agreement was reached at a recent Cabinet meeting for a new lease to be signed with Delapré Golf Club for the land it occupies.

This would release a former nine-hole golf course, known as the Hardingstone Nine, so it could be transformed into a mountain biking facility.

Cllr Lizzy Bowen, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “This project would deliver on a number of the priorities we’ve set out in our Corporate Plan.

“We’re keen to ensure people who live here have a range of recreational opportunities available to help with both their physical and mental health.

“There are no dedicated facilities like this in the area, which means people who wish to take part in this sport are travelling far out of our area.

“By creating something here, we can cut down on unnecessary travel which will benefit the environment, and we believe it will help support the local economy.”

Work has been carried out to design the scheme and a conditional grant offer of a £250k has been made by the Places to Ride programme (which is being delivered through a partnership of British Cycling. Sport England and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). 

“It’s really important to note at this stage that we still have a long way to go,” added Cllr Bowen. “Planning would need to be agreed and we would also need to go out to tender to see if the scheme can be delivered within the available budget.”

A planning application was submitted last month following initial discussion with Hardingstone Parish Council and a drop-in session is now being planned for those who live nearby to look at the proposals.

If the project proceeds, the proposal is for Northamptonshire Sport to manage its day-to-day operation through volunteers.

Full details can be found on our website in the papers at item 11 of the agenda. It will also be discussed at item 13 which will be held in private.