As the clock ticks down to the start of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, the biggest ever cycling event to come to Scotland, we can share the news that Ellon Wheel Park will recieve £400,000 of funding from the Cycling Facilities Fund.
The significant investment will enable the Aberdeenshire group to complete a community asset transfer and create an exciting new wheeled sport hub. The hub will have three main activity spaces; a closed loop cycle circuit, a beginner pump track and a more advanced community pump track located within Gordon Park in Ellon.
The plans for the project have been drawn up following consultation with the local community and will provide opportunities for mountain bikers, road riders and BMXers at all levels to take part and hone their skills.
The facility will be a huge benefit to the local area providing a free to use, open and inclusive sports facility.
Colin Allanach, Group Chair of Ellon Wheel Park Group welcomed the funding saying:
"This is a huge step forward for the project and will allow us to get the first phase of the exciting new facility constructed for the people of Ellon and surrounding area. I am so pleased for our supporters and the hardworking team behind the project.
“This investment from sportscotland and Scottish Cycling, on top of other funding from the Place Base Investment Programme fund, the Rural Community Led Vision Challenge fund, EB Scotland (landfill), local development obligations, other grants, a crowd funding campaign and support from lots of individuals, businesses and other organisations has raised in excess of an incredible £750,000 for the wheel park.
“This facility will provide a unique experience for wheel sports users of all abilities where they can play, have fun, learn and develop new skills. The wheel park combines a pump track, a cycle circuit and a skatepark in one area. The park will have a beginner’s area and will also be used to help people learn to ride and gain confidence on bikes before they go out to ride on the open road. The cycle circuit has been specifically designed with the help of wheelchair athletes and for the trishaws used by Cycling Without Age. This makes the park truly accessible for all”
The national Cycling Facilities Fund was established to build on the growing interest in cycling and deliver a tangible benefit as part of the wider policy objectives driving the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.
Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling, Nick Rennie added:
“It’s fantastic to see yet another facility a step closer to realising its ambition, which in turn supports our goals of having the right facilities, in the right places, so more people can enjoy riding a bike.
“I know a lot of work has gone on up in Aberdeenshire to get the project to where it is, so thank you to Colin and his team – I can’t wait to see it in action in the coming months and hopefully riding on it myself in the not too distant future!”
In the first event of its kind, over 8000 amateur and elite cyclists and para-cyclists will come together in Glasgow and across Scotland in August 2023 to compete at the highest level over 13 existing UCI World Championships.
Sport Minister Maree Todd said:
“With only a few months to go until the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, I’m delighted that the Cycling Facilities Fund continues to contribute to a long-lasting active legacy.
“This latest investment into an accessible and inclusive facility will support the local community to be active and hopefully encourage more people to give cycling a try -benefiting their physical, mental and social health.”
The Cycling Facilities Fund is made possible through a £4 million commitment from Scottish Government and £4 million from sportscotland through National Lottery funds.
This unprecedented investment in cycling infrastructure across the country is being delivered through a partnership between Scottish Cycling and sportscotland to ensure projects can have a lasting impact on their communities and the sport well beyond the Championships.
Chief Executive of sportscotland, Forbes Dunlop, added:
“The Cycling Facilities Fund is a fantastic opportunity to build on the excitement generated by a major sporting event by creating a network of places for people across Scotland to get involved in cycling.
“Creating an accessible community hub to encourage participation in cycling and physical activity more widely, is exactly the kind of project we hoped would be delivered through this fund. Ellon Wheel Park Group has demonstrated real ambition and commitment and we look forward to seeing the riders enjoying their new home later this year.”
Ellon is the latest community to benefit from the fund which has already seen 34 projects share over £4,535,000 of investment to provide accessible community and club facilities that inspire new and existing cyclists to make cycling a sport for life.
Craig Burn, Strategy, Policy and Impacts Director for the organising committee, said:
“This August Glasgow and Scotland will welcome the world’s greatest cyclists and para cyclists for the first of its kind event, the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. It will inspire people to ride bikes whether it be for sport, leisure or transport.
“The investment in Ellon Wheel Park Group to create an exciting new wheeled sport hub in Aberdeenshire is a wonderful reflection of the wider ambition of the Championships to work in collaboration with cycling and wider partners to create fun and safe places for people to discover the joy riding a bike can bring to their everyday lives.”
The Championships is more than just an event and will celebrate the unique power of the bike and all it can bring to everyday lives, whether it’s physical and mental health benefits, easing congestion on the road to help the environment, or simply making it easier for people to get around. Underpinned by four key policy drivers - participation, transport, tourism and economy - the Championships will be a catalyst for behavioural change across Scotland moving forward.