Scotland’s first purpose-built cycle circuit has officially opened in Fife – sparking hopes the region can produce the country’s next cycling stars.
The £2.4 million outdoor floodlit track, which has been built between Lochgelly and Glencraig, is set to put central Fife at the forefront of Scottish cycling and further bolster the Kingdom’s position as the number one destination in Scotland for outdoor activities.
Funded by Fife Council, sportscotland and the Scottish Government, the new Fife Cycle Park was formally opened by ultra endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont and Provost Jim Leishman, who were only too happy to get on their bikes and show onlookers how it should be done.
The hope now is that the community will make full use of the 1.6km long track. Mr Leishman firmly believes Fife could nurture the next Mark Beaumont, Sir Chris Hoy or Eileen Roe.
“When I first found out about the project I didn’t imagine what we’d have today, and Fife councillors should be really proud of it,” he said.
“It’s great to see the reaction of everyone here today who has had the opportunity to try the circuit out, from cycling royalty like Mark Beaumont to local youngsters who are just beginning to develop their skills.
“Learning to ride a bike is an important life skill and this will be an invaluable facility in helping to break down inequalities and the barriers people face in trying out or returning to cycling.”
Mr Leishman said it would be a tremendous achievement to see a future medal winner declare they got their start at the cycle park.
“It’s not just about the champions though, it’s about the youngsters who will come and have fun here,” he added.
“They’ll have social experiences with their friends and meet new friends.
“You can’t beat being the first project of its kind in Scotland. Hopefully when they see the success of this, other local authorities will want one of these in their areas.”
The layout offers various circuit configurations and several groups or sessions can use the centre at the same time.
A dedicated skills loop has also been gifted to the park by contractor the Purvis Group. It will suit younger children on balance bikes, scooters or those starting out on pedal bikes.
Bob Purvis, the company’s managing director, said: “We saw the donation of the play one as an extension of our core values – where young people can safely learn great habits that will last a lifetime benefiting health and wellbeing within our community.”
A contribution of £300,000 of National Lottery cash came from sportscotland and another £300,000 from the Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.
See more at cyclepark.fife.scot.