Work has started on a new facility that could help future Olympians blossom in one of the games’ newest sports.
Cost and construction consultant Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) has been appointed to work on a three-month project that will deliver a new national standard floodlit BMX track and clubhouse facilities at the Arrow Valley Country Park in Redditch.
BMX became an Olympic sport for the first time in 2008 and a number of key organisations, including British Cycling and Sport England, are fully backing the new £320,000 track, seeing it as a key player in attracting potential world class athletes to the sport.
Nigel Mason, partner at RLB, the lead designer, cost manager and employers agent on the site, said: “RLB is delighted to be part of something that will encourage the sport to flourish.
“If we are to complete globally we need to attract new competitors to the sport as well as invest in those already training.
“Outside the Olympics arena, BMX Racing is very much a family sport. The 350-metre track will be used by families and schools right across the UK, as well as experienced competition riders and attract all ages from four years old to well over forty.”
The project is being funded by Redditch Borough Council, which own the Arrow Valley Country Park, as well as British Cycling. It will be run by Redditch Premiers BMX Club and the Redditch Wheels Project, both already located at the three acre site.
Kevin Cook, project development manager at Redditch Borough Council said: “The council is delighted to have secured this project for the town. Redditch is the home of BMX racing and this new facility will plant us firmly of the national BMX map.”
British Cycling will also be involved in the development of the sport and local coaching initiatives.
David Cockram, national facilities officer, British Cycling Federation said: “This project is another significant milestone in our commitment to promote cycling within the UK and is being funded through our Whole Sport Plan England Sport Capital Funding. We are pleased that this project fulfills our investment plans for this financial year and look forward to further investment throughout the UK going forwards.
Lawfield Contracts have been appointed contractor to the site which was given planning permission in December 2009. Gary Lawrence, director at Lawfield, added: “Not only will this benefit the country by attracting new talent and interest in the sport on a national level but it brings a new lease of life for local families too.
“Having something of such calibre right on your doorstep will generate natural interest and following.”
Part of the 2012 London Olympics, RLB acts for LOCOG (the London Organisation Committee) in a six year contract that includes overseeing the creation of 156 venues for the games.
Closer to its Birmingham headquarters, Rider Levett Bucknall is currently working for Warwickshire County Cricket Club as project manager and quantity surveyor to the multi million pound revamp of Edgbaston that will help the ground maintain its status as a premier cricket ground on the international circuit.