Teaching children to ride a bicycle in Mansfield is set to become easier, thanks to a grant from British Cycling to create a new learn-to-ride track.
The £9,547 grant from British Cycling’s Places to Ride programme will go halfway towards the £19,000 learn-to-ride track next to a proposed new children's play area off Egmanton Road in the Bellamy Road estate.
The remaining 50% will be funded by the council through EEM Ltd, a not-for-profit procurement consortium, of which the council is a partner. As part of its service, EEM accumulates a pot of money which is shared out among partners for community projects.
The cycling project will form part of a £5.7m proposed redevelopment of the centre of the estate which will involve demolishing a row of flats and shops in Egmanton Road and replacing them with 22 family homes built round a "village green" with a new play area and community orchard.
Work on the track is expected to start by the end of the year and the council is expecting it will be up and wheels spinning by April next year.
As well as the track, there will also be council-owned bikes available from nearby South Mansfield Community Centre which families can loan while using the track.
The facility will be aimed at helping children aged two to eight to learn to cycle in a safe, traffic-free environment and has been devised after consulting with residents about how it could best help families in the neighbourhood.
The scheme aligns with council priorities on Place, Wellbeing and Aspiration and will contribute to a Masterplan to regenerate the Bellamy Road estate.
Executive Mayor of Mansfield Andy Abrahams said: “This will be a fantastic boost for youngsters in Mansfield and we hope it will encourage more families to be physically active.
"Cycling is a superb way to get fit and get around in a way that is also kinder to the environment. We would like to see many more people taking to two wheels across the district in the years to come.
"This project and the wider Community Heart of Bellamy redevelopment will enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of residents and help to create a positive, cleaner and greener image of Mansfield district.
"The building of the track, we hope, will also create work, training and supply chain opportunities for local people and businesses, particular those in the Bellamy Road area."
The Places to Ride programme is being delivered through a partnership between British Cycling, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Sport England and will see will see £15m shared out to projects across England.
Andy Farr, Head of Business Planning and Transformation at British Cycling, said: “Mansfield District Council is doing great work to get more people cycling in its area, so we are pleased to support their efforts to bring the community together and help fund this learn-to-ride track through Places to Ride.
“As we enter the final period of allocating grants through the fund, we are incredibly proud to see how it has already enabled so many people from a range of backgrounds – regardless of age, gender, ability or ethnicity – to get involved with cycling.”
Charles Johnston, Sport England Director of Property, added: “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.”