Open day for BMX arena

Residents in Manchester are being invited to an open day of the new £24m national BMX centre at Sportcity in east Manchester on Saturday 6 August.

Manchester City Council said the open day, running from 10am to 4pm, will provide the chance to preview the centre before it opens to the public from Monday 8 August.

During the open day, residents will be able to take guided tours, see BMX demonstrations on the new track and try out the BMX outdoor circuit, titled Go-Ride, as well as having an induction and a go on the new indoor track.

There will also be the chance to take part in taster sessions on the Velodrome track and an opportunity to do leisure rides around Philips Park and Clayton.

Eddie Smith, chief executive at New East Manchester, said: "The new BMX arena builds on the long-term legacy of the 2002 Commonwealth Games and adds to the world-class facilities that were established for those games.

"The arena secures Manchester as the home of British Cycling with a world-class facility for the community and elite athletes to use, gives Manchester the ability to host international BMX events and provides the British Cycling Federation with new offices for 200 staff. This investment continues to strengthen East Manchester's economic base along with raising the city's and East Manchester 's international profile."

Ian Drake, British Cycling's chief executive, added: "Today brings us a step closer to the completion of a fantastic training and competition facility which will aid the GB Cycling Team's preparations for London 2012.

"The centre will also offer the local community an opportunity to train alongside British BMX stars, inspiring future generations of riders and host new British Cycling headquarters. The complex is being built as part of the London 2012 legacy plan, a great example of the positive impact the Games are having on sport and communities outside of London."

Sheldon Philips, head of major regional events at the North West Development Agency, said: "The Agency has been committed to supporting the development of the centre, with an £8m grant provided. I'm delighted to see the BMX centre in all of its glory and look forward to seeing people from across the region making use of all of its facilities."

At the open day, residents will also be able to get information about the summer holiday programme of activity during the school break. A BMX club has already been set up at Ravensbury Community School.

Designed by Ellis Williams Architects, the facility is funded by Manchester City Council, contributing £8.55m, Sport England, £3m, and the European Regional Development Fund, which is managed in the region by the North West Development Agency.

The cost of the building itself was £19m with a further £5m spent on improving public realm, including a new bridge linking the National Cycling Centre to the new Metrolink stop.

The project team also includes the Manchester office of Curtins Consulting as internal structural engineering consultants and Sir Robert McAlpine as construction contractors.

The 110,000 sq ft centre will include a 2,000 seat arena, British Cycling offices, plus cycle shopping and café facilities when it officially opens later this year. There will also be an official unveiling of the British Cycling Hall of Fame as part of the Reg Harris Heritage Day on 27 August.

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