Construction on the National Indoor BMX Centre has begun with the help of Olympic BMXer Shanaze Reade.
Reade joined school pupils from Ashbury Meadow Community School in Beswick, Manchester for the ceremony, opening work on the 110,000 sq ft facility, with a 2,000 seating capacity and also head quarters offices for British Cycling. Alongside the Manchester Velodrome the £24 million complex will form part of the National Cycle Centre.
Manchester City Council has contributed £8.55 million for the facility, with the Northwest Regional Development Agency adding £8 million and Sport England £3 million. £5 million will also be spent in addition to create new cycle-ways and footpaths linking the National Cycling Centre and nearby venues.
Shanaze Reade enthused: “Having the National Indoor BMX Centre in east Manchester, right on my doorstep, is fantastic. I can’t wait to train here to try and get a gold medal at London 2012. I also really hope it encourages more local kids to take up the sport.”
British Cycling’s chief exec Ian Drake, said: "Today brings us a step closer to the completion of the BMC centre which will be a fantastic training and competition facility for British Cycling and aid the GB Cycling Team’s preparations for London 2012. As a community facility, the centre will also offer local young people and adults an opportunity to train alongside British BMX stars, inspiring future generations of riders and growing the discipline at the grass roots. We also look forward to the opening of a new purpose-built British Cycling office when the project is complete in 2011."
Eddie Smith, Chief Executive of New East Manchester said: "East Manchester is the home of British Cycling and this scheme will take this partnership to a new level. The National Indoor BMX Centre will sit beside the Manchester Velodrome and a new velopark offering facilities for all cycling disciplines for both elite athletes and the community. Employing over 160 people, this new complex will add to the range of world class sporting facilities we have at Sportcity.”
Chief Exec of the NWDA, Steven Broomhead, added: “Sportcity forms a core element of regeneration activity in East Manchester, delivering not only physical but also economic and social change. The new BMX arena will further enhance the city’s profile as a centre of sporting excellence, providing the type of world-class facilities and elite athletes that attracts wider investment.
“It is excellent that work has begun and that we can announce new investment which will support a range of developments that will generate employment, reinforce the role of sporting activity as an economic driver for the area, enhance the leisure and tourism offer of Manchester and serve to further raise the area’s profile.”
Sport England’s property director, Charles Johnston, said: “The BMX Centre will bring high-quality sporting opportunities to both elite riders and the community, helping us deliver a lasting Olympic and Paralympic legacy of increased participation. The plans have the firm support of British Cycling, which will use the facilities to identify and nurture the next generation of BMX stars. To secure investment from our Sustainable Facilities Fund, this project has demonstrated that it will meet local sporting needs and safeguard long-term sports provision.”