Spokesfest aims high with cycle centre plans

The Leicester cycle campaign group has secured initial European funding to begin the development of a new cycling and human powered vehicle centre for the city. Spokefest's annual festival will remain as an event organised by volunteers but the new cycle centre will be run as a commercial concern and will be called CycleMagic
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The CycleMagic project will form part of Leicester’s regeneration programme and has the backing of Leicester City Council, Leicestershire Health Authority and the East Midlands Development Agency.

The centre will not appear overnight but will grow over time.

"Initially we’ll be renting a small workshop from which we will develop both our special needs cycling and bike recycling, with other projects beginning as match funding and space becomes available," said Roger Lovell of Spokesfest.

An offer of two years free office and showroom space has been made by another nearby regeneration project.

The CycleMagic workshop will house Spokefest's eclectic range of bikes and HPVs including pedal powered boats, work bikes, recumbents, and circus bikes. Most of these machines will be available for hire.

"We have purposely identified various smaller amounts of dedicated funding to avoid the pitfalls encountered by a great many Millennium Commission funded projects, and with our emphasis on organic growth we are confident we’ll not be solely reliant on annual grants to survive," said Lovell.

"Several commercial enterprises have also been researched or piloted, and these will begin when the relevant partner companies and organisations are ready to do so."

The centre will be situated adjacent to Leicester’s Abbey Park, through which runs Sustrans Route 6, and be within easy reach, on traffic free routes, of many attractions such as the National Space Centre. The city council have commissioned a series of reports from Spokesfest on disability cycling access to all the city’s cycle routes and will be using these as a guideline for all future developments in the city.

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