Cannock Chase Council’s Cabinet has approved a proposal from Forestry England to become a funding partner for a Commonwealth Games Legacy Project.
Cannock Chase Forest will be one of the venues for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games used for mountain biking events. Its success will reply upon a high quality sustainable trail infrastructure being delivered.
The partnership project will create a new high quality off road cycling trail at Cannock Chase Forest, which is set to be the mountain bike venue for the Commonwealth Games 2022. The trail will then act as a legacy project which can be used by residents and visitors for years to come.
Cabinet have approved to invest £50,000 from the District Investment Fund towards the total cost of the project (£912,774).
A further £50,000 will also be earmarked to support future projects, opportunities and initiatives which may arise in the District from hosting the Commonwealth Games Mountain Biking event.
The legacy off road cycle trail will encourage local residents to be physically active outdoors with a new blue bike intermediate trail which will act as a progression route to more technical and challenging routes such as the ‘Red’ Follow the Dog trail. The new blue trail has the potential to improve cycling participation rates for local residents and create opportunities
to work closely with local schools, community groups and cycling groups/clubs and provide a safe and enjoyable route that enables families to cycle together off-road.
Councillor Christine Mitchell, Portfolio Leader for Culture and Sport said “This is a great opportunity for the District and are pleased to be supporting this partnership project which is being led by Forestry England.
“The tracks are currently well used, and this investment gives us the potential to capitalize on the Commonwealth Games profile. It will provide more opportunities for residents and visitors to exercise outdoors, as well as delivering additional tourism benefits for the District.”
Andy Harvey-Coggins, Recreation Manager at Forestry England, said: “For some time we’ve had aspirations to improve our cycling trail offer for mid-level cyclists at Cannock Chase Forest. This funding will not only allow us to build that provision, it will also mean that we can create a bike play trail to inspire and help improve the cycling skills of the next generation of off-road cyclists, and also add more technical features to our popular red graded (difficult) mountain bike trails. This will mean we can provide a true ‘novice to expert’ off-road and traffic free cycling offer on Cannock Chase – away from the ecologically-sensitive areas of the Chase that we want to help protect”.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture at Staffordshire County Council said: “It’s great news that Cannock Chase will host the mountain biking trials for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“With a unique blend of stunning scenery and amazing wildlife, Cannock Chase is one of the jewels in the Staffordshire crown. And with some of the best mountain bike trails in the region, this is a great opportunity to show off our amazing county to a global audience.
“There’s huge passion for cycling here in Staffordshire already and I’m sure such a high profile sports event will have a lasting legacy and encourage even more people to get on their bikes and stay active.
“The new trail being created for the competition and the legacy programme will also mean that people will be able to come and enjoy the dedicated trails whilst protecting the rest of the Chase’s precious landscape.”