Boardman Bikes plans to develop a World Class Centre at an outlet-mall-cum-country-park near Evesham in Worcestershire. The Valley has been open since 1999, and is home to retailers such as Fat Face and Mountain Warehouse. The country park is this weekend hosting a mountain bike event as well as being the start for a road sportive led out by Chris Boardman.
Boardman Bikes will be relocating to The Valley, and plans to build a cycling-specific wind tunnel, a performance testing lab, event space and a concept store.
Boardman, chairman of the eponymously named brand, said it has been a dream of his to create such a centre:
“Creating a Performance Centre that’s truly accessible to everyone has been a dream of mine since the early 90s,” he said.
“When I was racing I was able to see the effect of every choice I made. Now that opportunity will be available to all, be they sportive rider or Tour de France contender.”
Richard Morris, executive board member for economic growth and housing for Wychavon District Council, said: “I am absolutely delighted that an iconic international brand like Boardman Bikes has chosen Evesham to develop their new headquarters and innovative centre.
He added: “We will be able to also provide a great legacy to the huge success of GB cycling at the Rio Olympics by helping to boost local cycling participation and activity.”
Property developer Paul Goodes, managing director of Eagle One, the company which owns and operates The Valley, said: “We are delighted to have secured Boardman as the first tenant for the next phase of The Valley.”
He added that it was “subject to receipt of planning consent.”
The Valley is a 125-acre country park accessed via a roundabout on the A46 Evesham by-pass. Developed by Eagle One in 1999, it houses a garden centre and a number of factory-outlet shopping units. It also has a miniature steam railway, walking routes and a mountain bike track. The Valley was formerly known as Evesham Country Park.
Today The Valley is hosting the Evesham CycleFest which includes a mountain-bike race and a sportive.