Europe’s largest cycling park, Cyclopark, near Gravesend was dubbed "world class" by Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson MP at the official opening on Sunday.
The Minister said: “Cyclopark is a world-class, state of the art facility that will encourage more people of all abilities to take up sport. It will leave a fantastic legacy for Kent from London hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
The Minister was joined by Deputy Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, Sir Keith Mills; Chief Executive of Sport England, Jennie Price; Leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter; Chairman of the Cyclopark Trust and KCC’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste, David Brazier; and representatives from bodies that funded the project.
Thousands of riders took part in a day-long, mass bike ride on Sunday 27 May around the 43-hectare site, which hosts state-of-the-art mountain-bike, track and BMX courses, a skate park, a multi-use basketball court and a children’s adventure playground.
Leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter, added: "There are nine-and-a-half million people living within an hour’s journey time of Cyclopark. I hope that all the schools in Kent, and in London, help support it by seizing the opportunity to enjoy all the different cycling disciplines in this fabulous bespoke facility, making Cyclopark a long-term legacy to the Olympics and Paralympics."
Chairman of the Cyclopark Trust, David Brazier, who is also KCC’s champion for cycling, said: "A local man, Tony Mack, came up with the idea, which won support at Kent County Council. Now, as a result of a lot of hard work, we have this fantastic venue that caters for everyone, from beginners to professionals, across all disciplines of the sport.
“Cycling is going through a renaissance in the UK. This has very positive implications for the environment, the sport, health and the engagement of young people. I believe Cyclopark will be at the forefront of satisfying that new and growing desire of people of all ages to ride a bike, learn how to do it safely, to compete and improve and have an enriched and better life on two wheels.”
Explore Kent, a partnership led by Kent County Council that promotes walking and cycling in the countryside and along the coast, is now set to run Explore Kent Bike Week over the half term, from June 2nd to 10th.
Register for the BikeBiz News Digest at the registration page.