West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has signed a two-year partnership with British Cycling that will bring a wide range of cycling events, opportunities and investment to West Northants.
The new partnership will see a shared commitment to supporting cyclists and para-cyclists through the sharing of world-class innovation and expertise whilst supporting the Council’s ambition to reach net zero by 2030, encouraging more people to ride and making cycling more accessible for everyone.
It will further establish West Northamptonshire as a destination for major international sporting events, with the partnership confirming the prestigious Women’s Tour and Men’s Tour of Britain cycling tournaments will be hosted in the area in the coming years.
Initiatives will also include free, friendly local rides led by knowledgeable ride Leaders, traffic-free family cycling events, and indoor and outdoor ‘pedal parties’ and will work towards embedding disability and para sport into the heart of communities whilst recruiting and training volunteers to create sustainable local delivery.
The two-year partnership, funded by UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF), will work alongside the active travel enhancements being installed along Abington Crescent, Bridgewater Drive, Rushmere Road and Brackmills, and will start in early Autumn with the support of a new Community Development Officer role.
The role will be responsible for maintaining and developing new partnerships and relationships with local communities and providing support for the delivery of cycling programmes while providing British Cycling with the most effective routes to deliver community programmes in West Northants.
Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said: “This partnership reflects our ambitions to reach net zero by 2030 by encouraging more sustainable travel options, reducing congestion and improving air quality as well as providing opportunities for people to take up cycling and enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle.
“Alongside a programme of exciting events and activities, this partnership will play an important role in bringing communities together by providing many volunteering opportunities and helping us to establish West Northamptonshire as a destination for major sporting events, such as the prestigious Women’s and Men’s cycling tournaments which we hope to welcome here in the future.
“We have already invested in a range of cycling, sports and leisure facilities and I hope that this partnership will enable people to experience the full benefit of these – not only for their physical and mental health and wellbeing but also by providing a chance for people of all abilities to discover their passion for cycling.”
Other recent cycling initiatives in West Northants include a community cycling hub and Mountain Bike trails at Boddington and Delapré, supporting the Cycle Silverstone festival, establishing Northampton’s Active Quarter, and working with partners to host the final round of the region’s first ever Central MTB Cross County series.
British Cycling’s West Midlands and Central Regional Manager, Nick Barr, said: “British Cycling is delighted to be partnering with West Northamptonshire Council to deliver more cycling activity in the area.
“With the addition of a new Community Developer position, cycling in the area will thrive, opening up new and exciting opportunities for our growing cycling disciplines, engaging with people of all ages and abilities to try and, most importantly, enjoy the sport of cycling.
“At British Cycling, we are constantly trying to make our sport more accessible and inclusive, and this new partnership is an amazing opportunity for us to connect with the community.”