Published: 11:30, 23 September 2021
| Updated: 11:31, 23 September 2021
Funding of almost £80,000 has been secured to improve cycling facilities in an Ashford park.
Cash from the British Cycling Places to Ride fund along with investment via central and local government will be spent on upgrading a planned cycle course in Victoria Park from a dirt track to an asphalt pump track.
Other plans for the park include mock road markings for a dedicated learn-to-ride space, new cycle stands around the park and spectator seating close to the track.
Ashford Borough Council (ABC) has successfully secured £29,350 from the Places to Ride pot of £15 million, along with £50,000 from the Department for Transport and Kent County Council.
Cllr Matthew Forest, ABC portfolio holder for culture, tourism and leisure, said: "These combined funds will allow us to upgrade the dirt bike track to a pump track, which will reduce ongoing maintenance costs, provide a longer-lasting facility and open up the track to a wider variety of users.
"The track will also provide a youth-focus for the space which complements the emphasis the project places on engaging with young people. Our aim is to help them relate to and feel ownership for Ashford’s biggest and oldest urban park."
The pump track - a course of swooping, banked turns which can be ridden with minimal pedalling - is part of a wider regeneration of Victoria Park, which includes plans to repair the Grade II-listed Hubert Fountain and build a new children's play area.
Andy Farr from British Cycling said: "Ashford Borough Council is doing great work to get more people cycling in Ashford, so we are pleased to support their efforts to bring the community together through Places to Ride.
"As we enter the final period of allocating grants through the fund, we are incredibly proud to see how it has already enabled so many people from a range of backgrounds - regardless of age, gender, ability or ethnicity - to get involved with cycling."