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Ipswich: Town in line for £1million cycling centre

PUBLISHED: 18:39 14 November 2012

The proposed Ipswich Cycling Centre would welcome people of all ages looking for competitive or leisure coaching and racing

The proposed Ipswich Cycling Centre would welcome people of all ages looking for competitive or leisure coaching and racing

Archant

A STATE-of-the-art £1million cycling centre could be built in Ipswich by 2016, The Star can reveal today.

After the huge success of Team GB riders at this summer’s Olympics, British Cycling is keen to maintain interest and participation in the sport – and has identified the town as a priority area.

And The Star has learnt that bosses have earmarked Ravenswood for the facility, which could even include an outdoor velodrome.

Talks are currently ongoing between Ipswich Borough Council and British Cycling.

David Cockram, national facilities officer at British Cycling, said the complex could be a closed road circuit – a small version of a motorcycle circuit on tarmac.

“There is a plan to build one in Ipswich but the ball is in the local authority’s court,” he said.

“But they are saying they would back any bid to bring a top-class cycling facility and that is the sort of positive message we are looking for.

“It is a project we will hopefully complete within the next four years. It could only take 12 to 18 months to build.

“There are no plans for an indoor velodrome, but an outdoor one is a conversation worth having.

“Ipswich is a big place and needs a cycling facility. It is very important it gets one.

“It’s hard to estimate how much it would cost but the average is £600,000 to £700,000, but other centres have cost a couple of million. It depends on the scope of the project.”

Ipswich has successfully hosted a number of major cycling events recently, including the Tour of Britain, SkyRide and European Cyclo-Cross Championships.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said the authority would “support any bid to bring a top-class cycling facility to the town”.

Steve Grimwood, who helped organise the European Cyclo-Cross Championships and owns Elmy Cycles in St Helen’s Street, said Revenswood was an ideal location for the centre.

“British cycling have been down two or three times and said it would be absolutely fantastic to put something there,” he said. “They are 100 per cent behind the project.

“We want to provide a permanent facility which will benefit the people of Ipswich, with one central track to provide coaching and competition.

“We will hopefully be running programmes right from the playground to the podium.

“But it’s a real game of chess at the moment. We might have to move things around to create the right spaces.”

The airport in Nacton Road closed in 1997 to make way for the Ravenswood estate.

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