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Cycling woodland Kingdom in Penshurst launches crowdfunding campaign

By Chris Price

A crowdfunding bid has been launched to turn a 13-acre woodland into a cycling haven aimed at families and the corporate market.

The team behind Kingdom in Penshurst hope to raise £360,000 in exchange for 10% of the business.

Bosses believe the woodland, formerly known as the Penshurst Off Road Cycling venue, can attract 100,000 visitors a year.

Kingdom covers 13 acres in Penshurst
Kingdom covers 13 acres in Penshurst

In its first phase, it will offer a 1.1 mile cycle circuit for all abilities – with its 35 mile train ride from south London expected to entice corporate teambuilding days.

Co-founder and director Ross Blake said: “The site has huge potential for the corporate market because we are so close to London and have the most amazing surroundings.

“It’s a different day out for a lot of people and that is something a lot of the corporates in London struggle to find. A lot of the things they do tend to be the same.”

A 9,500 sq ft clubhouse offering bike hire, sales and servicing will be run by cycling retailer Wyndymilla.

Kingdom covers 13 acres in Penshurst
Kingdom covers 13 acres in Penshurst

Henry Furness, director of Wyndymilla, said: “We love the venue and the track. It’s just the most amazing location. It’s unparalleled in what it can offer – it’s proximity to London, the venue is amazing, the views.

“Everything else that is similar is on a brownfield site. This is the one location that is in a really special place and it offers everything.

“It’s not just road cycling. It’s got dirt jumps, mountain biking, cyclocross and even a little outdoor velodrome. It’s a truly amazing spot and a great opportunity for us.”

Basil Wholefoods, which runs cafes in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, will run a concession on site for visitors, parties, weddings and corporate hire.

Kingdom covers 13 acres in Penshurst
Kingdom covers 13 acres in Penshurst

Kingdom’s team own the freehold of building and the 13 acres of countryside.

“The future is refuges away from the connected culture,” said co-founder and director Peter Cornwell.

“Everyone is on their phone all the time – connected 24/7 and absorbed into everyday life.

“We believe there should be a log off moment where you come here, relax and reconnect with friends and family – and try and switch those screens off.

“We own the site and whatever level of investment you come in at, you will have a piece of that forever.”

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