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Shanaze Reade ‘tops out' National BMX Indoor Arena

Posted: 21st March 2010

Multiple BMX World Champion, Shanaze Reade joined local dignitaries for a ‘topping out' ceremony as work nears completion of the National Indoor BMX Arena in East Manchester which will be the UK's first purpose built covered BMX track with an Olympic size ramp.

Shanaze helped nail an evergreen bough to the building to signify the official completion of this stage of the building.

British Cycling and Manchester City Council, in partnership with New East Manchester, are working together to deliver the 21m high, National BMX Indoor Arena at Eastlands as part of London 2012 legacy plans.

Three thousand cubic metres of clay excavated from the site will be used to build earth mounds for the 7,000 m2 BMX track.

The roof of the building is 9000 m2. More than 1,000 tonnes of steel have been used and if all the roof trusses were laid end-to-end it would be the equivalent of riding the BMX track twice. The building also includes 1,000 m2 of glazing.

The existing Manchester Velodrome and new £19 million BMX centre together form the National Cycling Centre. It will include a 2,000-seat capacity BMX arena and new offices for the headquarters of British Cycling.

Designed by Ellis Williams Architects, the work is being project managed by Davis Langdon and carried out by contractors Sir Robert McAlpine.

The facility is funded by Manchester City Council (£8.55 million), the Northwest Regional Development Agency (£8 million) and Sport England (£3 million).

An additional £5million, jointly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency and the European Regional Development Fund, will create high quality public spaces to form a velopark that will serve the National Cycling Centre and other local venues. The funding will provide new cycle-ways and footpaths linking the new and existing developments; a footbridge and cycle route over the Ashton Canal and thoroughfare to the new Metrolink stop; open public spaces, better site access and new lighting and landscaping.

Commenting on the new arena, Shanaze Reade said: "I was here just over a year ago to mark the start of the building work and I can't believe the arena is now nearly finished. I can't wait to start training here. It will really help my preparations for London 2012. It's going to be an amazing facility, not only for us athletes but also for local kids who we hope will be inspired to take up the sport and follow in our footsteps."

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Culture and Leisure said: "It's great to have Shanaze here again to help us celebrate this important stage in the construction. This arena is not only to be used by the British Olympic BMX team but it is a world class community facility for our young people with the hope that one of our own local youngsters will follow in Shanaze's footsteps and bring an Olympic medal home to east Manchester in 2016."

Councillor Jim Battle, Deputy Leader at Manchester City Council added: "East Manchester is already the home of British Cycling and this scheme will take this partnership to the next level enabling the local community to train side-by-side with athletes in all cycling disciplines."

Eddie Smith, Chief Executive of New East Manchester said: "Today we're another step closer to realising our vision of creating a world class corridor of sport in this part of the city. This is an important regeneration scheme which will create jobs and new community facilities for local people and raise the profile of East Manchester nationally and internationally."

Ian Drake, British Cycling's Chief Executive, said: "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 for our growing team. 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."

Paul Lakin, Director of Land and Property at the NWDA, commented: "Having Shanaze Reade here to mark this stage of the construction is a real inspiration and testament to the sporting improvements the BMX Arena is bringing to Manchester, and indeed the Northwest as a whole. I'm delighted that we will soon be boasting this exceptional new facility right here in the Northwest and look forward to seeing future Olympians pass through its doors."

Sport England's Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: "Whether you're an expert on a BMX or trying it out for the first time, the BMX Arena will offer really high-quality sporting opportunities. Our National Lottery funding investment in this facility will help us to deliver a mass participation legacy for Manchester from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games."

The building will be completed this summer. The ERDF programme is backed by the Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC) - a group of senior representatives from across the region. The Group was formed to monitor, oversee and advise on the delivery of the programme and proved invaluable to the development of the new fund.

For more details about New East Manchester visit www.east-manchester.com.