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Work to start on Kent's Cyclopark by the A2 next month

Main contract awarded on £10 million project

A £10 million velodrome and cycling park near Gravesend has moved nearer to becoming reality after the construction contract to build it was awarded this week.

Construction contractor VolkerFitzpatrick, which is one of the biggest building companies in the south east, will start work on the project, called Cyclopark, in the new year on a site adjacent to the A2 between Dartford and Gravesend after being selected from five applicants.

The facility, which will take ten months to build and hopes to attract 100,000 cyclists a year, should also feature a Jamie Staff Academy which the Olympic gold medal track cyclist plans to launch.

British Cycling’s chief executive officer Ian Drake, quoted on the Dartford Times website, said: “The plans for the Cyclopark venue look fantastic. It is a perfect example of the continued efforts we are making, together with Sport England, to create excellent modern cycling facilities across the UK.

“The new velopark here will offer people of all ages and abilities an opportunity to enjoy cycling in a safe, controlled and traffic free environment, supporting the growth of our sport at the grassroots and helping us develop future cycling stars.”

Although last year there were fears that some aspects of the Cyclopark might have to be scaled back as a result of difficulties in securing funding, Kent County Council is now meeting most of the cost of the project, contributing £7 million. The balance of finance for the £9.7 million total is due to be provided by Sport England, the Colyer-Fergusson Trust, British Cycling and the Homes and Communities Agency.

David Brazier, Kent County Council deputy cabinet member for environment, highways and waste and the council’s member cycling champion, commented: “I’m delighted to be able to say that the construction of Cyclopark will soon be underway and even happier to announce VolkerFitzpatrick as contractor. They have a long and successful history with particular reference to similar projects in the south-east.”

Diyal Nonis, contracts manager for VolkerFitzpatrick, added: “This is a really exciting project not only for Kent, but also for the south-east of England.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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