Helping people to get on cycle track

Coun Graham Cain, of Blackpool Council, with Sports England's Chris Dodd and Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden
Coun Graham Cain, of Blackpool Council, with Sports England's Chris Dodd and Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden
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A CYCLING facility has secured a £27,500 Olympic cash boost.

The Inspired Facilities fund is part of the £135m Places People Play legacy programme bringing the magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities.

Blackpool Council has secured £27,500 funding to upgrade the facilities at the cycle track at the Palatine High School, South Shore, helping hundreds of local people get into cycling. Floodlighting will be installed at the track, which will enable riders to train throughout the year.

Sport England chairman Richard Lewis, said: “This investment will create a fantastic sporting legacy for Blackpool.

“This fund has really hit the mark with sports clubs in the North Wes. It shows we’re offering the legacy people want for their local community. For hundreds of clubs and tens of thousands of people, 2012 will be the year their local sports facilities got better.”

The resort project is one of 350 local community sports schemes to have been offered a total of £17.4m in Olympic legacy funding through the Inspired Facilities Fund.

Every sports facility which receives Olympic funding will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark – celebrating the link to the games.

Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “Not only will this make the track safer for everybody to use but it also means people will now be able to make the most of the track in winter when it goes darker earlier in the evening.

“The track has already been a big success with the local cycling community and this will only help it to grow even further.”

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden added: “This investment is fantastic news. Blackpool has always had a strong tradition of cycling but this money is an investment in local people for today and for the future.”

The investments announced aim to breathe new life into tired facilities that can be unattractive to sports participants, difficult to maintain and run.

Grants have also been offered to convert existing buildings into venues suitable for grass-roots sport and to allow local clubs to buy the facilities they use.

This is the first of five funding rounds of Inspired Facilities; the second round opened on February 1, offering hundreds more local groups the chance to bid for a further £10m of funding.

Sport and the Olympics minister Hugh Robertson MP said: “We want to use the Olympic and Paralympics next summer to inspire a generation to get involved in sport across the country.

“This is why as part of the Places People Play legacy programme we invited community sports clubs to apply for funding to upgrade their facilities.”

Places People Play is being delivered by Sport England who are working with the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) backed by The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

LOCOG chairman Seb Coe, said: “This is a fantastic funding project that will deliver a real legacy from the London 2012 Games.

“It will provide a whole range of sporting opportunities for young people through improved facilities and will I hope inspire them to take up sport.”