-Former St Matthews Primary School site restoration to take place at same time-
Construction of a new bike pump track at Craigneuk will begin by the end of this month and provide the area with one of the best facilities of its kind in the UK.
Main contractor Green Cat will work on the project with two of the world’s premier pump track designers and builders, Velosolutions and Architrail, with construction expected to last around eight weeks.
North Lanarkshire Council, which owns the site, has allocated funding from the Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Fund to pay for the works and is using Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) to manage the development and delivery of the project. At the same time as the pump track development, the area’s former St Matthews Primary School site will be restored to a wildflower meadow.
Councillor Frank McNally, Convener of Education, said: “The new bike pump track will be a fantastic addition for the Craigneuk population and wider community and so the news that construction is to begin is a very positive milestone.
“We know of the tremendous impact which bike tracks have had on communities across North Lanarkshire and look forward to this exciting new facility delivering the same benefits for residents and visitors alike.”
A key aspect to support the project’s success is the involvement of Socialtrack, a spin-off from the Wishaw Mountain Biking Club. Socialtrack is already supporting cycling development in local schools and will be heavily involved in the track’s ongoing development, including the official launch, which will be held in the Spring.
Mike Batley, Development Officer with CSGNT, said: “The patience and unwavering support from the Craigneuk community has really encouraged us all to keep overcoming the many challenges we’ve faced bringing the project to this key stage. Now we can look forward to seeing local people, especially youngsters, really enjoying themselves in the outdoors and getting lots of healthy exercise!”
Margaret Ann Murray, Secretary of Craigneuk Community Council, said: “We have been involved in the discussions regarding the Wishawhill Wood and Pump track that will be developed on derelict land in Craigneuk. As a small community, this project is a massive development for us and we are so grateful that you have allowed Craigneuk to be host to such a brilliant project.”
The project has already received significant local support with 70% of respondents to a survey carried out last year stating they were extremely positive about the idea, describing it as “absolutely brilliant”. The project also has widespread backing from local organisations such as the Wishaw Mountain Biking Club and Craigneuk Community Council.
Further information, including when the track will first be available for use by the public, will be provided as soon as possible.