A £15 million investment into community cycling facilities will provide a lasting legacy from next year’s UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire.
Working with British Cycling, we'll deliver the funding programme that's set to build multi-use facilities around the country.
The announcement comes with a year to go until the best road cyclists in the world head to Yorkshire for the UCI Road World Championships.
Yorkshire hosted the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France and in each of the three years since has hosted the Tour de Yorkshire races for both men and women.
And with cycling participation on a high in the nation – British Cycling saw a 150% increase in members in the four years after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – our Director of Property, Charles Johnston, hopes this investment will continue that trend.
“Cycling is one of the most popular activities for people in England, but what stops many from getting on bikes is a lack of access to traffic-free or easy-terrain routes,” he said.
“Sport England is proud to be delivering, in partnership with British Cycling, the single biggest government investment into community cycling facilities the country has seen in recent years.
“The investment will provide more facilities such as tracks and bike centres, where people can ride confidently and safely as well as access to essential equipment they need to have a go.
“The investment will ensure that anyone inspired to cycle after watching the 2019 UCI Road World Championships will have safe and accessible opportunities to do so in their local area.”
The programme aims to engage a broad spectrum of cyclists, with those just learning to ride and young people targeted.
I want these championships to leave a lasting legacy for cycling in this country
Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society
A small grants fund will be part of the investment, which will be open for applications from late November.
And Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Tracey Crouch, does not want the buzz around cycling to end after next year’s event concludes.
"I want these championships to leave a lasting legacy for cycling in this country,” she said. “Our £15 million investment in cycling facilities across the UK will further boost the sport at the grassroots and encourage more people to take part and get active.”
The announcement was made at Leeds Urban Bike Park, a Sport England-funded facility of the type that will be built with the legacy funding.
Yorkshire rider Scott Thwaites, Dimension Data team-mate of Mark Cavendish – the 2011 UCI Road World champion – was in attendance to see the benefits of such a project.
While British Cycling’s director of strategy, Martin Merryweather, wants the Leeds facility to be the first of many.
“It’s crucial that next year’s UCI Road World Championships capture the hearts and minds of people across the country and have a lasting impact on people, no matter where they live,” he said.
“Transforming Britain into a great cycling nation is at the absolute core of our mission and funding for facilities like this is paramount to ensuring we fulfil this aim.
“With just a year to go until we welcome some of the biggest names in our sport to the Yorkshire roads we are incredibly excited to witness the transformational effect this race and these facilities will have on communities across Britain.”