Bike-park project is described as superb

Mark Gilson
Mark Gilson

Exciting plans for a bike park in Rothbury have received a major boost, after the parish council agreed to grant the scheme £1,500.

The aim of the project, earmarked for land along Whitton Bank, is to promote the amateur sports of mountain and BMX biking to locals and visitors.

The track, designed to cater for all abilities, would feature a set of jumps and would be constructed using hardcore to ensure that it keeps its shape and does not wear out over time.

Speaking at the parish council last week, Byron Beatty, who is involved in the scheme, said it would have many benefits to the community.

He said: “The project will be led by young members of the community. It will be their project and something for them to be proud of doing.

“It will promote a healthy community, complement other reasons for families to visit the area, tie in with special events like annual music and food festivals and it will encourage more trade opportunities. The bike park will be a safe environment, accessible to all to have fun and develop cycling skills and a healthy outdoor lifestyle.

“We will keep the track discree so that it doesn’t spoil the nattural landscape.”

Mr Beatty added that fund-raising activities would be held to maintain the track.

The Whitton Bank site has been chosen for a number of reasons, including its proximity to local amenities and that the plot has been unused for 10-years-plus, is overgrown and the hedges are in need of repair.

Mr Beatty added: “The site is big enough to build a track, but small enough to manage.”

He said that the next step will be to build a plan for the bike park and the parish council grant – subject to seeing the project group’s accounts and constitution, as well as receiving updates on progress – will be used to hire an industry expert to help with this.

Councillors were unanimously in favour of the project – which does not yet have planning permission – with Coun Jeff Reynolds describing it as superb.

Chairman Coun Mark Gilson said: “I have been desperate to get something like this going for ages. I am 110 per cent behind it.”

Coun Steven Bridgett added: “I fully support this. It will use the natural environment, will give youngsters something to do, will be in a good location and promotes a healthy lifestyle.”