Work has started this week to build a ‘specialist’ mountain bike park on a former golf course in Northampton.
Specialist bike trail contractor On Track has started to create the Northampton Bike Park at the former Hard Nine golf course west of Brackmills Industrial Estate, with work on the development beginning on Monday (April 25).
According to West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), once complete, the new free-to-use facility will comprise of:
A multi-user green trail – an easy, dual-direction cycle route across the site, connecting Houghton Hill to the underpass for the A45. Blue (moderate), red (difficult) and black (severe) off-road mountain bike trails for different abilities – dual tracks will allow head-to-head riding. Five gathering spots where riders can meet to discuss the next section of track, and coaching can be provided. A mountain bike skills area.
Cllr Lizzy Bowen, from WNC, said: “This will be an outstanding facility and we know there are many people in the local area and the mountain biking community who can’t wait to see it up and running.
“On Track is highly experienced in delivering mountain bike parks and we’re really looking forward to seeing what they’re going to deliver for us all.
“We’ve worked closely with British Cycling and Sport England to ensure this project is the best it possibly can be on the land we have available, and we’re really excited to get our contractors on site.
“This project continues our work to make Northampton a town fit for the 21st century, with opportunities for everyone in the area to live their best lives.”
The new bike park will be created on the former golf course, which was part of Delapré Golf Center until about six years ago. Work is expected to be completed by late summer.
The site also includes almost 13 hectares of wildlife habitats which will be maintained as part of the council’s ongoing approach to sustainability.
British Cycling head of business planning and transformation Andy Farr said: “We are incredibly excited about the plans in place for the Northampton Bike Park, which will provide first-class trails and facilities for mountain bikers of all abilities.
“Facilities like this are vital to sustaining the huge growth we’ve seen in mountain biking over recent years, and we’re incredibly thankful to our local partners in Northampton and the team at On Track who share our passion for getting more people on bikes . ”
Charles Johnston, from Sport England, added: “Sport England are delighted to see this project moving forward and that there will soon be opportunities for people of all ages and abilities from the local area to use the cycling facilities.
“Supported by funding through the Places to Ride Program, this work will be instrumental in improving cycling facilities throughout England.”
Parking would be at the nearby golf center and the site is easily accessible by bike via the Norbital cycle route.
The initiative was sparked three years ago by Northampton resident and bike enthusiast Tony Skirrow, who urged the council to take advantage of British Cycling Places to ride fund.