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Local people in Craigneuk and Wishaw have given their overwhelming support to a proposal to build a bike pump track as part of plans which are gearing up to create a new recreational facility near to ‘The Venny’ (Glencassels Community Development Project).
Over 100 people completed a questionnaire about the project and 70% of respondents were extremely positive about the idea, saying it was “absolutely brilliant”, whilst another 39 people also gave signatures of support at the consultations.
The project is being funded through the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund, to transform the site area behind the railway line on land owned by North Lanarkshire Council into a vibrant community resource.
Councillor Kaye Harmon, Convener of the Motherwell and District Local Area Partnership, said: “We’ll be transforming this empty space into an exciting bike track for local young people, and the reaction from the community has been fantastic.
“Where we’ve created tracks in other locations, they are really popular among children and youngsters of all ages. By working in partnership with CSGNT and with the support of local organisations like Action for Craigneuk, we can deliver a first class facility for Craigneuk.”
The Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) will manage delivery of the project which will involve securing the design from a renowned track builder who will be appointed following a tender competition.
Mike Batley, Development Officer at CSGNT, said: “Our public consultations have highlighted a high level of interest and demand for the bike track and we’re taking on board the feedback to ensure the best possible facility is created to meet the needs and aspirations of the local community.
“The initiative is a fantastic opportunity to create a valuable resource for the benefit of young people, as well as the wider community, and knowing we have local people and organisations behind us gives us a real sense of excitement about the project and what it can do to get people in the community active and involved.”
The project also has widespread support from local organisations such as the Wishaw Mountain Biking Club and Craigneuk Community Council and the announcement that it is to go ahead was greeted with excitement at Berryhill Primary School, where school children showed off their wheels.
Dan Scott from the Wishaw Mountain Biking Club, added: “There’s a real problem in Scotland with young teenagers dropping out of organised sport so we want them to enjoy using this track so they keep coming back with bikes, skateboards or scooters.”